Short-Term Affective Recovery From Hip Fracture Prospectively Predicts Depression and Physical Functioning

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The goals of the current study were to determine the average affective experiences in the weeks and months after a hip fracture and assess how these experiences relate to physical and mental health functioning over time.


Positive and negative affect were assessed over time in a sample of older adults recruited after surgery for hip fracture (n = 500) and a comparison sample of older adults without hip fracture (n = 102) for 1 year longitudinally.


For most of the individuals with a hip fracture, positive affect tended to increase over time and negative affect tended to decrease over time, suggesting that most people had at least some recovery of affect. In addition, individuals who showed a slower decrease in negative affect had higher levels of depression 1 year later, and individuals who showed a sharper increase in positive affect had superior physical function 1 year later.


The current study provides evidence that both positive and negative affect in the first 12 weeks of recovery from hip fracture are potential targets for intervention to maximize psychological and physical recovery in the ensuing year.

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