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08 January 2024 : Clinical Research  

Associations Between Physical Fitness, Cognitive Function, and Depression in Nursing Homes Residents Between 60-100 Years of Age in South-Western Poland

Agnieszka Kaczorowska ORCID logo1ABCDEF, Antonina Kaczorowska ORCID logo2CDEF*, Joanna Kowalska ORCID logo1ACDE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.942729

Med Sci Monit 2024; 30:e942729



BACKGROUND: Healthy aging depends on physical fitness, cognitive function, and emotional well-being. Reduced physical activity in the elderly impacts daily activities, increasing morbidity risk. Cognitive decline affects learning, attention, and independence. Depression, prevalent among the elderly, correlates with loneliness and affects overall health. Physical fitness positively influences cognitive health and mood. This study examines these associations in Polish nursing homes residents.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We assessed 93 people aged 60-100 years living in nursing homes. The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) test was used to assess physical fitness. The Abbreviated Mental Test Score (AMTS) was used to assess cognitive functions. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) was used to assess depression.

RESULTS: In the SPPB test, the mean score was 4.85 points, indicating moderate limitations. On the AMTS, 55% of subjects had cognitive impairment. On the GDS scale, 44% of respondents had depressive symptoms. Seniors without mood disorders were characterized by faster gait compared to those with suspected depressive disorders (P=0.036). Men performed significantly better in the whole SPPB test (P=0.024) and in the standing up from a chair and gait speed tests (P=0.046, P<0.001) compared to women. We found a negative correlation between the AMTS test scores and the SPPB gait test scores and age (P<0.05) and a positive correlation between the SPPB gait test scores and the GDS scores (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Older nursing homes’ residents in better emotional and cognitive state tended to have faster gait. Men tended to have a higher level of physical fitness compared to women. Older age was associated with worse cognitive state of the examined seniors.

Keywords: Aging, Depression, Mental Status and Dementia Tests, Nursing Homes, Physical Fitness

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DOI: 10.12659/MSM.943911

Med Sci Monit 2024; 30:e943911


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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750