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BMC Health Services Research

, 3:9

First Online: 30 May 2003Received: 22 October 2002Accepted: 30 May 2003DOI: 10.1186-1472-6963-3-9

Cite this article as: Yeh, SC.J. & Liu, YY. BMC Health Serv Res 2003 3: 9. doi:10.1186-1472-6963-3-9


BackgroundSocial support is important in daily activities of the elderly. This study tests the hypothesis that there is an association between social support and cognitive function among the elderly in a community setting.

MethodsFace-to-face interviews were conducted in a cross-sectional stratified random sample of 4,993 elderly ≥65 years city residents. Using multiple regression analysis, we investigated the influence of social support on cognitive function.

Results12% were over 80 years old. 53.28% were men. 67.14% were married. Higher Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire SPMSQ scores higher score means better cognitive function were associated with strong social support, as measured by marital status and perceived positive support from friends. Lower cognitive function was associated with older and with female respondents. Only instrumental activities of daily living IADL were statistically and negatively related to SPMSQ. Lower functional status was associated with lower cognitive function. Elders with grade school educations had lower SPMSQ scores than did elders with high school educations.

ConclusionsIn Taiwan, higher cognitive function in community-living elderly was associated with increased social support. Life-style management should provide social activities for the elderly to promote a better quality of life.

Keywordssocial support elderly cognition functional status SPMSQ Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6963-3-9 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Shu-Chuan Jennifer Yeh - Yea-Ying Liu


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