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Resilience predicts functional outcomes in people aging with disability: A longitudinal investigation.


Silverman AM, Molton IR, Alschuler KN, Ehde DM, Jensen MP



Publication Info:

Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 96(7):1262-1268


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the links between resilience and depressive symptoms, social functioning, and physical functioning in people aging with disability and to investigate the effects of resilience on change in functional outcomes over time.
DESIGN: Longitudinal postal survey.
SETTING: Surveys were mailed to a community sample of individuals with 1 of 4 diagnoses: multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, postpoliomyelitis syndrome, or spinal cord injury. The survey response rate was 91% at baseline and 86% at follow-up.
PARTICIPANTS: A convenience sample of community-dwelling individuals (N=1594; age range, 20-94y) with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, postpoliomyelitis syndrome, or spinal cord injury.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (to assess depressive symptoms) and Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (to assess social role satisfaction and physical functioning).
RESULTS: At baseline, resilience was negatively correlated with depressive symptoms (r=-.55) and positively correlated with social and physical functioning (r=.49 and r=.17, respectively). Controlling for baseline outcomes, greater baseline resilience predicted a decrease in depressive symptoms (partial r=-.12) and an increase in social functioning (partial r=.12) 3 years later.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings are consistent with a view of resilience as a protective factor that supports optimal functioning in people aging with disability.

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