Inventorying stressing life events as related to health change in the elderly



A 54-item inventory of stressing life events (SLE) was developed for assessing their prevalence in elderly populations. The SLE was sensitive to numerous life changes in this population, although only 11 of the items were reported as occurring in the previous 6 months by 10 per cent or more of the study participants. Scores on the SLE were shown to be significantly related to seeking of physician services in managed care settings and to seeking of emergency medical services regardless of setting. Stressing life events may thus have significantly greater impact on health change in the elderly than they do in younger populations.