Original Paper

Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 419-426

First online:

Social Support Resources and Post-Acute Recovery for Older Adults with Major Depression

  • Hong LiAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Email author 
  • , Nancy Morrow-HowellAffiliated withGeorge Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
  • , Enola ProctorAffiliated withGeorge Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
  • , Eugene RubinAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis

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This study assessed the relationships between older patients’ social support resources and depressive symptoms and psychosocial functioning at 6 months following a psychiatric hospital discharge. The data used in this study were extracted from a prospective study titled “Service Use of Depressed Elders after Acute Care” (National Institute of Mental Health-56208). This sample included 148 older patients who participated in the initial and the 6-month follow-up assessment. Ordinary Least Squares regression (OLS) was used to examine important social support resources in relation to older patients’ depressive symptoms and psychosocial functioning. A vast majority of patients were embedded in a social support network that consisted of acquaintances and confidants. Patients’ depressive symptoms were related to availability of a confidant and the extent to which they spent time with others. However, patients’ psychosocial functioning was not related to social support resources assessed in this study.


Older adults Major depression Social support resources