The oldest old: patterns of adjustment and dependence

Margareta Carlsson, Stig Berg, Claes-Göran Wenestam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to investigate how dependence was experienced by 129 non-institutionalized 85-year-old persons, who previously had been categorized into seven different patterns of adjustment. The participants' subjective experiences of dependence were expressed in in-depth interviews and additionally, mobility, self-maintenance and need of help in daily living was conventionally assessed. When the results from these two methods were compared, it was found that subjectively experienced dependence did not generally correspond with the scorings on dependence. The in-depth interviews revealed that subjects with poorer adjustment could be most affected by minor impairments, while physical impairments were of a subordinate importance to those who were better adjusted. For appropriate caring interventions, it is therefore suggested that conventionally assessed dependence needs to be supplemented with documented subjective experiences of dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Nursing (30305)
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (50901)


  • Body consciousness
  • mobility
  • need of help
  • qualitative method
  • self-maintenance


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