Interpersonal dependency in older adults and the risks of developing mood and mobility problems when receiving care at home
Computing, Health and Science
Psychology and Social Science
Despite a broad interest in various types of dependency as they relate to older people (structured dependency, learned dependency, learned helplessness, and interdependency), research of dependency in older people has not included an individual difference measure of interpersonal dependency. Studies that have examined the correlates of interpersonal dependency in general populations have found links with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety and also with physical illness. If these findings could generalise to older populations then there would be important intervention and financial implications for providers of health services to older adults. This research examined the correlates of interpersonal dependency in older adults using a new measure of interpersonal dependency—the Interpersonal Dependency Scale for Older Adults (IDS-OA). One hundred and five new clients aged 65–90 years recruited through a private home care agency responded to a postal survey requesting their completion of a questionnaire package. Interpersonal dependency was found to correlate significantly with both depression and mobility. In addition, a hierarchical regression analysis found that both higher interpersonal dependency and depression were significant positive predictors of poor mobility in older adults.