Original research| Volume 96, ISSUE 7, P1262-1268, July 2015

Resilience Predicts Functional Outcomes in People Aging With Disability: A Longitudinal Investigation

Published:March 07, 2015DOI:



      To investigate the links between resilience and depressive symptoms, social functioning, and physical functioning in people aging with disability and to investigate the effects of resilience on change in functional outcomes over time.


      Longitudinal postal survey.


      Surveys were mailed to a community sample of individuals with 1 of 4 diagnoses: multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, postpoliomyelitis syndrome, or spinal cord injury. The survey response rate was 91% at baseline and 86% at follow-up.


      A convenience sample of community-dwelling individuals (N=1594; age range, 20–94y) with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, postpoliomyelitis syndrome, or spinal cord injury.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (to assess depressive symptoms) and Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (to assess social role satisfaction and physical functioning).


      At baseline, resilience was negatively correlated with depressive symptoms (r=−.55) and positively correlated with social and physical functioning (r=.49 and r=.17, respectively). Controlling for baseline outcomes, greater baseline resilience predicted a decrease in depressive symptoms (partial r=−.12) and an increase in social functioning (partial r=.12) 3 years later.


      The findings are consistent with a view of resilience as a protective factor that supports optimal functioning in people aging with disability.


      List of abbreviations:

      CD-RISC-10 (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale-10), MD (muscular dystrophy), MS (multiple sclerosis), PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), PPS (postpoliomyelitis syndrome), PROMIS (Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System), SCI (spinal cord injury)
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