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Hopefulness Predicts Mortality Outcome in Elderly

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry; ePub 2017 Feb 10; Zhu, et al

Baseline hopefulness predicts mortality outcome among the homebound elderly in the community, a recent study found. Identifying elderly individuals who are depressed with hopelessness and providing early intervention may improve the mortality rate. Researchers conducted a secondary analysis of data from a community sample of 1,034 adults, aged ≥60 years. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale was used to evaluate the mood symptoms and feeling of hopefulness at baseline. The death data were collected within an 8-year follow-up period. They found:

  • In the 8-year follow-up period, frequency of feeling hopeful, but not other individual depressive symptoms, was associated with mortality rate.
  • The mortality rate among those who always, sometimes, and rarely felt hopeful were 21.6%, 26.4%, and 35.7%, respectively.
  • Logistic regression also confirmed that individuals who rarely feel hopeful had higher odds of decease within the 8-year follow-up period than those who always felt hopeful after adjusting for age and medical conditions.


Zhu AQ, Kivork C, Vi L, et al. The association between hope and mortality in homebound elders. [Published online ahead of print February 10, 2017]. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. doi:10.1002/gps.4676.

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