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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 299–303 | Cite as

What Do Canadian Seniors Say Supports Their Quality of Life?

Findings from a National Participatory Research Study
  • Toba BryantEmail author
  • Ivan Brown
  • Tara Cogan
  • Clemence Dallaire
  • Sophie Laforest
  • Patrick McGowan
  • Dennis Raphael
  • Lucie Richard
  • Loraine Thompson
  • Joyce Young
Article

Abstract

Background: A national project investigated seniors’ perceptions of the influences upon their quality of life. The seven participating cities were Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Regina, Vancouver and Whitehorse. The project focussed on policy decisions affecting the quality of life of seniors. It was a participatory study in which seniors controlled the direction and shape of the project in each city.

Methods: Focus groups and individual interviews with seniors and stakeholders. Data analysis used qualitative methods to see the world through the eyes of participants. Each project was committed to hearing the voices of seniors and their views on which issues were affecting the quality of their lives.

Results: Across the seven cities, seniors highlighted access to information, health care, housing, income security, safety and security, social contacts and networks, and transportation as key issues that affect the quality of life of seniors in Canada.

Conclusions: The findings affirm the value of participatory activities that involve seniors working with other sectors as a productive policy-informing approach. The Seniors’ Quality of Life projects demonstrate the conceptual power of the determinants of health perspective to understand seniors’ quality of life issues. While seniors considered health care to be a continuing concern, they also recognized socio-economic issues as significantly affecting the quality of their lives.

Résumé

Contexte: Un projet national s’est penché sur la perception par les aînés des facteurs qui influencent leur qualité de vie. Les sept villes participantes étaient Montréal, Québec, Ottawa, Toronto, Regina, Vancouver et Whitehorse. Le projet a porté sur les politiques qui ont un effet sur la qualité de vie des aînés. Il s’agissait d’une étude participative où des aînés ont contrôlé l’orientation et la forme du projet dans chaque ville.

Méthode: Nous avons organisé des discussions de groupe et des entretiens individuels avec des aînés et des professionnels. Pour l’analyse des données, nous avons adopté une méthode qualitative afin de voir le monde avec les yeux des participants. Chaque projet s’était engagé à écouter les aînés et leurs points de vue sur les enjeux qui ont un effet sur leur qualité de vie.

Résultats: Dans les sept villes, les aînés ont souligné l’accès à l’information, les soins de santé, le logement, la sécurité du revenu, la sécurité et la protection, les contacts et réseaux sociaux, ainsi que les transports comme étant les principaux enjeux touchant leur qualité de vie au Canada.

Conclusions: Ces constatations soulignent la valeur, en tant que démarche productive sous-tendant les politiques, des activités participatives où des aînés collaborent avec d’autres secteurs. Les projets „ Qualité de vie des aînés ” font la preuve de la puissance conceptuelle d’une perspective axée sur les déterminants de la santé pour comprendre les enjeux liés à la qualité de vie des aînés. Les soins de santé sont bien sûr une préoccupation constante pour les aînés, mais ces derniers reconnaissent aussi que les facteurs socio-économiques exercent une influence considérable sur leur qualité de vie.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toba Bryant
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ivan Brown
    • 2
  • Tara Cogan
    • 3
  • Clemence Dallaire
    • 4
  • Sophie Laforest
    • 5
  • Patrick McGowan
    • 6
  • Dennis Raphael
    • 1
  • Lucie Richard
    • 5
  • Loraine Thompson
    • 7
  • Joyce Young
    • 8
  1. 1.York University Centre for Health StudiesTorontoCanada
  2. 2.University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.VancouverCanada
  4. 4.Université LavalQuébecCanada
  5. 5.Université de MontréalMontréalCanada
  6. 6.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  7. 7.Loraine Thompson Information Services LimitedReginaCanada
  8. 8.WhitehorseCanada

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