The influence of health, social support quality and rehabilitation on depression among disabled elders.

This study examined the influence of health, social support, disability, and vision rehabilitation services on depression among visually impaired older adults seeking vision rehabilitation services. Participants (n = 95) were interviewed at application and approximately two years later. The first hierarchical regression model focused on concurrent relationships at baseline. The second model used baseline health and social support variables, along with indicators of change in vision and use of rehabilitation services, in order to predict change in depression over time. Findings indicate that being unmarried, in poorer health, having lower quality of relationships with family, and lower stability in friendships were significant independent risk factors for initial depression, explaining 50% of the variance. Decline in depression over time was predicted by younger age, better self-rated health, stability of friendships, and use of rehabilitation services that, along with baseline depression, explained 61% of the variance in depressive symptomatology at the two-year follow-up. Findings highlight the importance of qualitative aspects of social support for older disabled adults, as well as the distinction that needs to be made between factors that predict concurrent mental health status and those predicting change in status over time.