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01-04-2014 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 3/2014

Quality of Life Research 3/2014

The mediating role of disability and social support in the association between low vision and depressive symptoms in older adults

Tijdschrift:
Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2014
Auteurs:
Gertrudis I. J. M. Kempen, Adelita V. Ranchor, Ton Ambergen, G. A. Rixt Zijlstra

Abstract

Purpose

Vision loss is highly prevalent in old age and has a substantial impact on different aspects of quality of life including depressive symptoms. Our objective was to examine the mediating role of disability and social support in the association between low vision and depressive symptoms.

Methods

Differences in disability, social support, and depressive symptoms between 148 persons with low vision and a reference population (N = 4,792) all ≥57 years were compared. The association between low vision and depressive symptoms and the mediating role of disability and social support was examined by the means of regression.

Results

A significant effect of low vision on depressive symptoms was identified even after the adjustment for disability and social support (standardized beta 0.053, P < 0.001). The association between low vision and symptoms of depression was partially mediated by disability, while social support was identified as a suppressor variable. Low vision, disability, and social support showed unique contributions to depressive symptoms.

Conclusions

Prevention of disability and the increase in social support may help to reduce symptoms of depression in older adults with low vision. By taking such information into account in their intervention work, health professionals working in this area may improve their care quality.

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