Demoralisation, distress and pain in older Western Australians

Kisely, Stephen R. and Shannon, Peter (1999) Demoralisation, distress and pain in older Western Australians. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 23 5: 531-533. doi:10.1111/j.1467-842X.1999.tb01312.x

Author Kisely, Stephen R.
Shannon, Peter
Title Demoralisation, distress and pain in older Western Australians
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1326-0200
Publication date 1999-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-842X.1999.tb01312.x
Volume 23
Issue 5
Start page 531
End page 533
Total pages 3
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To assess the relationship of psychiatric morbidity, morale, physical activity and the presence of pain in older people.

Method: Older people attending senior citizens' clubs were administered the 28-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), the Revised Philadelphia Geriatric Centre Scale (RPGCS) and five self-report questions from the Brief Disability Questionnaire. They also rated the presence of pain on a five-point scale. Multiple and logistic regression were used to adjust for socio-demographic factors and identify variables independently associated with psychological status and morale.

Results: Of 112 people approached, 86% agreed to take part (n = 96). The sample showed a wide range in total GHQ scores (mean = 2.9, range = 0-19) and RPGCS scores (mean = 2.3, range = 1.1-3.0). Twenty-one per cent had psychological distress as defined by a score of > 6 on the GHQ-28 (n = 19). Fifty-four respondents (56%) reported low morale as defined by a score < 2 on the RPGCS. There was a close relationship between psychological distress, low morale on the RPGCS (OR= 5.5 [1.5-20. 5]) and moderate to severe pain (OR = 5.3 [1.8-15.9]). When adjusted odds ratios were calculated to control for confounding factors, moderate to severe pain remained independently associated with psychological distress (OR = 1.6 [1.3-2.4] p = 0.02), and limitations in daily activities with low morale (OR = 3.64 (1.001-8.4) p = 0.05).

Conclusions: There is a close relationship between physical disability, low morale and psychological distress. Implications: An increased index of suspicion for psychological distress is warranted in all older people with physical disability, particularly in the presence of moderate to severe pain.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Created: Wed, 18 Nov 2009, 12:18:07 EST