Prevalence of Major Life Events Among Patients and Community Dwellers

HSS Journal


Stephen A. Paget, MD, FACP, FACR

Physician-in-Chief Emeritus, Hospital for Special Surgery

David L. Helfet, MD

Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College

C. Ronald MacKenzie, MD

Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Professor of Clinical Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College
Co-Medical Director, Center for Brachial Plexus and Traumatic Nerve Injury
Non-Operative Director, Spine Care Institute

Margaret G.E. Peterson, PhD
Research Division
Hospital for Special Surgery
John P. Allegrante, PhD
Department of Health and Behavior Studies
Teachers College
Department of Sociomedical Sciences
Mailman School of Public Health
Columbia University
Margorie Pangas, RN, MSN
Nurse Manager
Ambulatory Rheumatology Services
Hospital for Special Surgery

Abstract
Background: Life events have been shown to be associated with health and illness.

Methods: We studied the number of life events experienced by hip fracture patients, non-fracture rheumatology patients, and community-dwelling asymptomatic residents in the year prior to interview. Fifty-four hip fracture patients, 63 ambulatory patients, and 115 community-dwelling residents participated in the study. All were over 65 years of age. Descriptive statistics and nonparametric analyses were performed.

Results: The number of events reported in the previous 12 months was higher for hip fracture patients than for community participants (p = 0.02). At least one bereavement was reported by 32% of hip fracture patients, 27% of ambulatory patients, and 26% of community-dwellers (p = 0.8). Ten percent of all respondents reported experiencing more than one bereavement.

Conclusion: This has important consequences when considering the care of these patients and the mental distress they may be experiencing, especially in the aftermath of local disasters or trauma. Medications may not always be the best treatment, and better psychosocial assessments and delivery systems are needed.

This article appears in HSS Journal: Volume 1, Number 1.
View the full article at springerlink.com.


About the HSS Journal
HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal, is published twice a year, February and September, and features articles by internal faculty and HSS alumni that present current research and clinical work in the field of musculoskeletal medicine performed at HSS, including research articles, surgical procedures, and case reports.


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