Depressive symptoms in women with physical disabilities: Identifying correlates to inform practice

Susan Robinson-Whelen, Heather B. Taylor, Rosemary B. Hughes, Margaret A. Nosek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective To examine correlates of depressive symptomatology in a sample of women with diverse physical disabilities to inform practice of modifiable risk factors that warrant attention and intervention. Design Interview survey. Setting Outpatient chronic care clinics. Participants Racially and ethnically diverse women (N=415) aged 18 to 64 years living with physical disabilities. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Results Depressive symptoms were high with more than half the women exceeding an established cutoff for clinically significant depressive symptomatology. In hierarchical multiple regression analyses, demographic, disability, and health variables explained significant variance in depressive symptoms; however, modifiable variables (pain interference, social support, abuse) contributed significantly to depression scores over and above demographic, disability, and health variables. Analyses examining predictors of depression classification revealed similar findings. Conclusions Depression is a significant problem for many women with physical disabilities. Modifiable contributors to depressive symptoms may provide intervention opportunities for researchers and clinicians. Clinicians need to attend closely to pain, particularly perceptions of pain interference; social support and social isolation; and abuse among women with physical disabilities. It may be valuable to include pain self-management, social networking and social skill development, and safety and abuse prevention training when designing depression intervention programs for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2410-2416
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


Supported by a grant awarded to Baylor College of Medicine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (grant no. RO4/CCR614142 ).

FundersFunder number
Centers for Disease Control and PreventionRO4/CCR614142


    • Depression
    • Disabled persons
    • Rehabilitation
    • Women


    Dive into the research topics of 'Depressive symptoms in women with physical disabilities: Identifying correlates to inform practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this