Objective: To examine the differential impact of depressive symptom clusters on neuropsychological functioning in a rural-dwelling, multi-ethnic cohort. Methods: Data were analyzed for 184 participants (70% female, 46% Hispanic) who are part of an ongoing rural healthcare study, Project FRONTIER. Previously published factor scores of dysphoria, meaninglessness, apathy, and cognitive impairment from the GDS-30 were entered as predictor variables in linear regression models with RBANS Index raw scores as outcome variables. Results: In the total sample, Dysphoria, Meaninglessness, and Cognitive Impairment were significantly associated with Immediate Memory, Language, Attention and Delayed Memory; Dysphoria was also significantly related to Visuospatial skills. When examined by gender and ethnicity, however, the findings varied with dysphoria being most related to cognitive status among men and dysphoria, meaninglessness, and cognitive impairment being most significantly related to cognitive status among women. When examined by ethnicity, dysphoria, meaninglessness, and cognitive impairment were most strongly associated with immediate and delayed memory in Hispanics. Conclusions: In this study of rural-dwelling adults and elders, depressive symptom clusters were differentially associated with poorer cognition with the most consistent findings being between depressive symptoms of dysphoria and meaninglessness and the cognitive domains of immediate and delayed memory.
- rural health