Life satisfaction of 511 elderly Chinese stroke survivors: moderating roles of social functioning and depression in a quality of life model

Clin Rehabil. 2020 Sep 21;269215520956908. doi: 10.1177/0269215520956908. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Using a published quality of life model, to investigate the moderating roles played by social functioning and post-stroke depression in buffering the relationship between physical functioning and life satisfaction among elderly Chinese stroke survivors.

Design: Cross-sectional survey through face-to-face interviews.

Setting: Fangshan district of the Beijing Municipality in China.

Participants: A representative random sample of 511 community-dwelling elderly Chinese stroke survivors aged 60 years or above. In total, 127 participants were categorized as stroke survivors with clinical depression and 384 without.

Measures: Satisfaction With Life Scale, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, International Residential Assessment Instrument Activities of Daily Living Hierarchy scale, International Residential Assessment Instrument Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Performance scale, De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale, and Lubben Social Network Scale.

Results: Analyses revealed that the unique variance shown by social functioning (16%) is more important than physical functioning (5%) or depressive symptoms (12%) in promoting life satisfaction among all elderly stroke survivors. The moderation model denotes the interaction effect between depressed mood and physical functioning (β = .152 to .176, p < .001) for all stroke survivors. For stroke survivors without clinical depression, loneliness (β = .264 to .287, p < .001) and social support (β = .115 to .151, p < .05) buffered the relationship between physical functioning and life satisfaction; whereas for those with clinical depression, only loneliness (β = -.264 to .236, p < .05) moderated the corresponding relationship.

Conclusions: Social functioning and post-stroke depression buffered the relationship between physical dependence and life satisfaction among elderly Chinese stroke survivors.

Keywords: Chinese; Life satisfaction; elderly stroke survivors; post-stroke depression; social functioning.