Life events, mental health functioning and the use of health care services by the elderly.
The association of life events and mental health impairment was studied in a community-based population of the elderly (n = 986). A crude estimate of the relative risk for mental health impairment given life events larger than or equal to 150 (as measured by the Schedule of Recent Events) was 2.14. A relative risk of 1.73 (p < .01) was estimated when a binary regression procedure was used, controlling for physical health, economic status, social support, and age. Increased life events were associated with health seeking behavior, even when physical and mental health functioning were controlled. The associations between increased life events and both mental health functioning and health seeking behavior were small, suggesting that life events, as measured by the Schedule of Recent Events may not be important risk factors for elderly living in the community.
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