Background: The association between physical function and anxiety symptoms has been widely discussed, but remains unclear. This study aims to examine the association between both self-reported and performance-based measures of physical function and anxiety symptoms in a community-dwelling population of Chinese older adults.
Methods: Data were derived from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly (PINE), a community-engaged, population-based epidemiological study of U.S. Chinese older adults aged 60 and above in the Greater Chicago area. Anxiety symptoms were measured by the anxiety subscale from the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
Results: Every one point higher in ADL impairment (OR: 1.23, 1.09-1.39), IADL impairment (OR: 1.17, 1.12-1.22), Index of Mobility scale (OR: 1.30, 1.19-1.42) and Index of Basic Physical Activities scale (OR: 1.09, 1.06-1.11), and lower levels of physical performance (OR: 1.13, 1.09-1.16) were associated with higher risk for anxiety symptoms.
Discussion: This study goes beyond prior studies by examining both self-reported and performance-based physical function and anxiety symptoms. The result suggests higher levels of self-reported physical function impairment and lower levels of physical performance are associated with higher risk of anxiety symptoms among community-dwelling U.S. Chinese older adults, which is contrary to studies in other culture. Cross-cultural research is needed to examine the association between physical function and anxiety symptoms under different contexts.