Factors associated with perceived health in older adult Irish population
Objectives: Perceived health status or self-reported health declines with age and is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, poor mental health and functional outcomes and health care utilisation. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between a range of biopsychosocial measures and self-reported health in a sample of community-dwelling older people living in Dublin. Method: A total of 492 participants with a mean age of 72.5 (SD=7.34) were assessed at the Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL) clinic, a comprehensive geriatric assessment facility in St James's Hospital, Dublin, using standardised measures of medical morbidity, personality, functional status, depression, anxiety, perceived stress, cognition, loneliness and social support. The relationship between self-rated health and health measures was analysed using bivariate correlations and backward multiple regression. Indirect pathways of effects on perceived health were evaluated using bootstrapping mediation analysis. Results: Self-rated health was best predicted by instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), Charlson Co-morbidity Index (CCI), extraversion and perceived stress. The effects of cognition and social support from friends on self-rated health were found to be mediated by elements of these identified factors. Conclusion: Self-rated health is not simply the absence of physical illness but is also strongly influenced by the degree of functional impairment, personality factors and the level of stress experienced by the older person. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.