Objectives: To examine the relationship between self-perceptions of aging and acute medical events in chronically institutionalized middle-aged and older persons with schizophrenia. Methods: Participants were 83 persons with schizophrenia (30% women; mean age = 58.48, SD = 8.14) residing in a long-stay care home, who were without organic mental disorders, mental retardation, serious audiovisual impairment, and serious cognitive and physical impairment. They received assessments in body mass index, functional health, and global mental status, and responded to measures of self-perception of aging at baseline. Acute events that required medical attention were recorded for the next 3 months. Results: 8% of the participants had acute medical events. Bivariate analysis suggested that number of comorbid medical conditions, mobility, Mini-Mental State Examination, and negative self-perception of aging were predictive of acute medical events. However, multivariate analysis (logistic regression) showed that only mobility (OR = 0.78, p = 0.04) and negative self-perception of aging (OR = 3.38, p = 0.02) had independent effects on acute medical events, with the latter being the stronger predictor. Positive aging self-perception, body mass index, and smoking were unrelated to medical events. Conclusions: Physical vulnerabilities may not be sufficient to explain the development of acute medical events in late-life schizophrenia. How individuals perceive their aging process, which is expected to regulate health behavior and help-seeking, may be an even more important factor. Further research should investigate whether such self-perceptions, which are probably rooted in stereotypes about aging socialized early in life, are modifiable in this population. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
CitationCheng, S.-T., Yip, L. C. Y., Jim, O. T. T., & Hui, A. N. N. (2012). Self-perception of aging and acute medical events in chronically institutionalized middle-aged and older persons with schizophrenia. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27(9), 907-913.
- Self-perception of aging
- Acute medical events