Psychological Distress and the Use of Clinical Preventive Services by Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Szu Hsuan Lin, Omolola E. Adepoju, Bita A. Kash, Bethany DeSalvo, Darcy K. McMaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this study, we explored whether psychological distress plays a role in the use of recommended clinical preventive services among community-dwelling older adults. The sample is drawn from respondents 65 years and older who participated in the 2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Logistic regressions with selected covariates were entered in the model to estimate odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) for the independent effect of psychological distress on the utilization of each of five preventive services. With the exception of breast cancer screening where the uptake of preventive services was significantly lower for older adults with psychological distress (OR = 0.57, p <.001), uptake of other key preventive measures revealed no significant utilization differences between older adults with and without psychological distress. The results suggest that adherence to breast cancer screening guidelines may be increased by improving recognition and treatment of emotional health problems in older women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-616
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • older adults
  • preventive services
  • psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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