Original Research

Staying well in old age: Predicting older adults’ wellness

Sofia von Humboldt, Isabel Leal, Filipa Pimenta
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 18, No 1 | a717 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v18i1.717 | © 2013 Sofia von Humboldt, Isabel Leal, Filipa Pimenta | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2012 | Published: 19 July 2013

About the author(s)

Sofia von Humboldt, Research Unit in Psychology and Health, Universitário Lisbon, Portugal
Isabel Leal, Research Unit in Psychology and Health, Universitário Lisbon, Portugal
Filipa Pimenta, Research Unit in Psychology and Health, Universitário Lisbon, Portugal


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

In an ageing world, the potential for ageing well in older people is still relatively unexplored. Literature has suggested that a sense of coherence (SOC) is an important factor with regard to retaining a good quality of life in old age. To explore whether satisfaction with life (SWL), as well as sociodemographic, health- and lifestyle-related variables, are predictors of SOC in a community-dwelling sample of older adults and to assess significant differences in SOC amongst the four nationalities studied. Cross-national research encompassing a community-dwelling sample of 454 older adults aged 75 years and above was undertaken. Sense of coherence was assessed using the Orientation to Life Questionnaire and Satisfaction with Life (SWL) was measured using the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate a structural model of the self-reported SOC, comprising sociodemographic variables (age, gender, marital status, professional status, educational level, family’s annual income and standard of living arrangements), as well as SWL, lifestyle and health-related (physical activity and recent disease) characteristics. Significant predictors were physical activity (β = 0.804; p < 0.001), recent disease (β = 0.501;p < 0.001) and SWL (β = 0.07; p = 0.004). These variables accounted for approximately 57.5% of the variability of SOC. Moreover, differences with regard to SOC were also found amongst the four nationality groups (F(3) = 5.204; p = 0.002). Physical activity is the strongest predictor of self-reported SOC. Other predictors are the absence of a recent disease and SWL. The four nationalities presented significant differences with regard to SOC. This study highlighted the need for understanding the potential factors (in particular physical activity and further health-related characteristics) that impact on older adults’ SOC.

In ’n wêreld wat aan die verouder is, is die potensiaal van bejaardes om goed te verouder steeds relatief onbekend. ’n Toenemende literatuurbasis stel voor dat koherensiesin belangrik is om ’n goeie lewensgehalte vir bejaardes te verseker. Om te verken of lewenstevredenheid, sosio-demografiese, gesondheids- en lewenstylverwante veranderlikes voorspellers is van die koherensiesin in ’n steekproef van bejaardes wat nie in tehuise woon nie, asook om die beduidende verskille tussen die vier nasionaliteite met betrekking tot die koherensiesin te evalueer. Kruis-nasionale navorsing bestaande uit ’n steekproef van 454 volwassenes, 75 jaar of ouer, wat nie in tehuise woon nie. Koherensiesin is met behulp van die lewensoriëntasievraelys beoordeel en lewenstevredenheid is met behulp van die lewenstevredenheidskaal gemeet. Strukturele vergelykingsmodellering is gebruik om ’n strukturele model van die self-gerapporteerde koherensiesin te ondersoek. Die model bestaan uit sosio-demografiese veranderlikes (ouderdom, geslag, huwelikstatus, professionele status, opvoedkundige vlak, gesin se jaarlikse inkomste en lewensomstandighede), asook lewenstevredenheid, lewenstyl- en gesondheidsverwante (fisiese aktiwiteitsvlak en onlangse siekte) eienskappe. Beduidende voorspellers is fisiese aktiwiteitsvlak (β = .804; p < 0.001), onlangse siekte (β = .501; p < 0.001) en lewenstevredenheid (β = .07; p = 0.004). Die veranderlikes verklaar onderskeidelik 57.5% van die wisselvalligheid van die koherensiesin. Verder is daar ook verskille tussen die vier nasionaliteite met betrekking tot koherensiesin (F(3) = 5.204; p = 0.002) gevind. Fisiese aktiwiteitsvlak is die sterkste voorspeller van self-gerapporteerde koherensiesin. Ander voorspellers is lewenstevredenheid en die afwesigheid van onlangse siekte. Die vier nasionaliteite het duidelike verskille ten opsigte van koherensiesin getoon. Hierdie studie beklemtoon die noodsaaklikheid om die potensiële faktore − veral fisiese aktiwiteitsvlak en verdere gesondheidsverwante eienskappe − wat bejaardes se koherensiesin beïnvloed, te verstaan.


Keywords

No related keywords in the metadata.

Metrics

Total abstract views: 2735
Total article views: 6393


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.