Background: This study was aimed toward discerning depressive symptom trajectories associated with different chronic conditions and toward finding modifiable factors associated with those trajectories. Methods: Data were drawn from the 1996-2007 Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging. Nine chronic conditions were selected, and mood trajectories were measured with the Center of Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale. Results: Among the nine chronic conditions we examined, four patterns of depressive symptom trajectories were identified: (1) elevated depressive symptoms and worsened over time after diagnosed with heart disease (n = 681), arthritis (n = 850), or hypertension (n = 1,207); (2) elevated depressive symptoms without worsening over time after diagnosed with stroke (n = 160), lung diseases (n = 432), gastric conditions (n = 691), or liver diseases (n = 234); (3) no elevated depressive symptoms after diagnosis but an increase in depressive symptoms over time for participants with diabetes (n = 499); and (4) no significant patterns after diagnosed with cancer (n = 57). Cumulative psychological burden over time was significant for participants with hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, or arthritis. However, these effects disappeared after controlling for comorbidities and physical limitations. Moreover, psychiatric condition was found to play an important role in baseline depressive symptoms among participants diagnosed with lung diseases, arthritis, or liver diseases. Conclusions: Findings from this study provide information in addressing psychological burden at different times for different conditions. In addition, minimizing the incidence of comorbidities, physical limitations, or psychiatric conditions may have the prospective effect of avoiding the trend of increased depressive symptoms, especially when adults diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, lung diseases, arthritis, or liver diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health