Depression and self-reported functional status in older primary care patients

P. A. Sinclair, J. M. Lyness, D. A. King, C. Cox, E. D. Caine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors' goal was to examine whether depression is associated with overreporting of functional disability. Method: The subjects were 304 patients 60 years old or older who were recruited from primary care settings. Measures included examiner ratings of depression diagnosis and medical burden and self-reported and examiner-rated functional assessments. Multiple regression techniques were used to determine the independent association of depression with self-reported function after examiner-rated function was added to the analysis as a covariate. Results: Depression diagnosis was associated with poorer self-reported role functioning, whether the patient attributed the disability to physical or emotional causes. Depression was not independently associated with poorer self-reported physical functioning. Conclusions: Clinicians and researchers should recognize that depression can confound the self-reporting and attribution of functional disability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-419
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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