Date Presented 04/22/2023

In this study, we found the mediating role of social participation in the association of motoric cognitive risk (MCR) with depression of older adults. A social participation program to intervene with depression is recommended for older adults with MCR.

Primary Author and Speaker: Jihyeun Park

Additional Authors and Speakers: Suyeong Bae, Ji-Hyuk Park

Contributing Authors: Ickpyo Hong, Sangmi Park, Jaehyu Jung, Sohyeon Yun, Anastassiya Khan

BACKGROUND: The Motoric Cognitive Risk (MCR) is a syndrome with slow gait speed and cognitive decline. MCR is known as a predictor of dementia. Previous studies have shown that MCR was associated with depressive symptoms and social participation. However, evidence of supporting the association of MCR with depression via indirect effect of social participation was rare. This study aimed to investigate the association between MCR and depression mediated by social participation.

DESIGN: Secondary data analysis of the USA cohort using 2015-2016 National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP). Participants aged 65 or over without dementia were included.

METHOD: MCR was operationally defined when the respondent showed slow gait speed (i.e., one standard deviation below in gait speed of included sample) and cognitive impairment (i.e., below the Montreal Cognitive Assessment score 26). Depression was measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression. Social participation was measured with the sum score of attending meetings, socializing with friends and relatives, and volunteering. The total, direct, and indirect effects of MCR on depression were estimated using a mediation path analysis framework. Mplus version 8.8 was used.

RESULTS: Data from 1,689 participants was used for analysis (mean age: 74.31 ± 6.51), female: 54%). Participants with MCR were11.19%. The total effect of MCR on depression was statistically significant (β = -1.94, p < 0.001). The indirect effect of MCR on depression via social participation was statistically significant (β = -0.20, p < 0.001). Indirect effect explained 10.97% of the total effect.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study highlights the mediating role of social participation in the link between MCR and depression in older adults. This finding supports that social participation intervention programs for older persons with MCR could be beneficial to decrease depressive symptoms of older adults.


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