Executive functioning independently predicts self-rated health and improvement in self-rated health over time among community-dwelling older adults

Joanna Edel McHugh, Brian A Lawlor
2015 Aging & Mental Health  
Objectives: Self-rated health, as distinct from objective measures of health, is a clinically informative metric among older adults. The purpose of our study was to examine the cognitive and psychosocial factors associated with self-rated health. Methods: 624 participants over the age of 60 were assessed at baseline, and of these, 510 were contacted for a follow-up two years later. Measures of executive function and self-rated health were assessed at baseline, and self-rated health was assessed
more » ... at follow-up. We employed multiple linear regression analyses to investigate the relationship between executive functioning and self-rated health, while controlling for demographic, psychosocial and biological variables. Results: Controlling for other relevant variables, executive functioning independently and solely predicted self-rated health, both at a cross-sectional level, and also over time. Loneliness was also found to cross-sectionally predict self-rated health, although this relationship was not present at a longitudinal level. Conclusion: Older adults' self-rated health may be related to their executive functioning and to their loneliness. Self-rated health appeared to improve over time, and the extent of this improvement was also related to executive functioning at baseline. Self-rated health may be a judgement made of one's functioning, especially executive functioning, which changes with age and therefore may be particularly salient in the reflections of older adults.
doi:10.1080/13607863.2015.1018866 pmid:25774986 fatcat:v2f3xbhs4vg5jk7pucerqxjhei