The mediating effects of depressive symptoms on nutritional status of older adults in long-term care facilities

I. Chuan Li*, H. T. Kuo, Y. C. Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To test whether depressive symptoms mediate the effects of activities of daily living (ADLs) on nutritional status of older adults living in long-term care (LTC) facilities in Taiwan. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: Seventy-three community-based LTC facilities in northern Taiwan. Participants: This study sampled 306 adults ranging in age from 65 to 97 years who were free of acute infection or disease and who were able to communicate. Measurements: Nutritional status was assessed by the Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA) scale and depressive symptoms were assessed by the short form of the Geriatric Depressive Scale (GDSSF). Results: MNA scores revealed that 65% of the subjects were at risk for malnutrition (17 to 23.5 points). In addition, depressive symptoms partially mediated the relationship between ADLs and nutritional status, with 10.7% of the effect of depressive symptoms on nutritional status going through the mediator. Conclusion: Interventions to reduce depressive symptoms among institutionalized older adults should focus on improving nutritional status rather than promoting ADLs, which are believed to be difficult to change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-636
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • institutionalized older adults
  • mediating effect
  • nutritional status

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