Social support and neuroticism as moderators of physical comorbidity and depression in older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Doreen Lenore Simonelli, Fordham University

Abstract

Three forms of social support, instrumental social support, subjective social support, and social interaction, as well as neuroticism, were examined to explore their potential buffering effect on the relationship between physical comorbidity and major depressive disorder. Forty-nine (29 female, 20 male) participants (M = 72) with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were recruited from two rehabilitation hospitals in New York State and followed for three months after discharge. A series of forced entry multiple regression analyses were performed to determine whether the interaction of social support and physical comorbidity and neuroticism and physical comorbidity contributed significantly to depression scores at the three-month follow-up. The model with subjective social support was significant and contributed 24.8% of the variance to the overall model, however, the interaction term was not significant. Neither the models nor the interaction terms were significant for instrumental social support, social interaction, and neuroticism. An additional series of forced entry multiple regression analyses were executed to control for baseline depression scores. The results were the same as the initial series of regressions. Social support and neuroticism did not buffer the relationship between physical comorbidity and major depressive disorder in this cohort. A small sample size and trunctated range of depression may have contributed to these null findings. However, this was the first examination of its kind. There remains a need to explore, which variables, if any, act as buffers in this chronically ill population as their depression often is underdiagnosed and undertreated. Evidence for a buffering effect on depression in COPD patients may help health care professionals to create individualized intervention plans aimed at lowering depression levels when working with these individuals. ^

Subject Area

Gerontology|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Doreen Lenore Simonelli, "Social support and neuroticism as moderators of physical comorbidity and depression in older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease" (January 1, 2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3169395.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3169395

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