“Getting better” or “getting worse”: What practitioners can learn from older adults with high depressive symptoms


  • Kenneth E. Mobily, PhD




older adults, depressive symptoms, chronic conditions, functional disability, pain


The purpose of this study was to identify concrete markers of older adults scoring high in depressive symptoms. Through identification of depressive symptom covariates, practitioners may more accurately chart a course of interventions to assist the person in coping with depressive symptomatology. Subjects were members of an earlier longitudinal study. The present study was restricted to 133 subjects 60 and older who had high depressive symptom scores at baseline or follow-up or both. The findings suggest that somatic maladies were the distinguishing variables separating subjects who were able to reduce their depressive symptoms compared to those who stagnated at a high depressive symptom scores over 3 years. The present findings suggest a direct course of action_address the somatic concomitants of depression and the affect is likely to improve.

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Mobily, PhD

Department of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.


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How to Cite

Mobily, PhD, K. E. (2013). “Getting better” or “getting worse”: What practitioners can learn from older adults with high depressive symptoms. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 12(1), 9–15. https://doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2013.0035