Do Mental Health Levels Differ by Activity Limitations and Physical Activity in Arthritic Males Ages 50-79?




Evans, Ashley
Morgan, Samantha
Jones, Camille
Lemke, Henry
Hartos, Jessica
Tran, Mary


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Purpose: Depressive symptoms are a common comorbidity seen with arthritis. Despite previous research showing the effect of activity on depression levels, there has been a lack of research within the older arthritic male population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether activity limitations and physical activity are related to mental health levels in arthritic males ages 50 -79. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis used BRFSS 2015 data for males ages 50-79 from Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between activity limitations and physical activity with mental health, while controlling for general health, health care access, weight status, race, educational level, and income level. Results: Less than one-third participants reported less than good mental health (27-31%), approximately half reported activity limitations (47-53%), and over half of participants reported their activity level as inactive/insufficiently active (52-58%). Adjusted results indicated that activity limitations were significantly related to mental health (moderate effect sizes) in all five states, but physical activity was only significant in one state. In addition, cost precluding seeing a provider was found to be significant. Conclusions: Overall, mental health was found to be significantly related to activity limitations and healthcare access in all five states, but not to physical activity levels. Therefore, male arthritic patient ages 50-79 in a primary care setting should be screened for both mental health issues and activity limitations if they present with symptoms of either. In addition, primary care clinics that are in lower socioeconomic (SES) areas should take into account the effect that cost has on mental health and activity limitations in arthritic patients when developing treatment plans.