Advertisement

Quality of Life Research

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 607–615 | Cite as

Psychological acceptance and quality of life in the elderly

  • Jodie Butler
  • Joseph Ciarrochi
Research Article

Abstract

Many changes occur as people enter old age (e.g., declining productivity), and these changes may at times decrease quality of life. Do some people maintain high subjective quality of life despite these changes? This study investigated the influence of psychological acceptance (PA) on quality of life in a sample of 187 elderly from a home nursing service, a retirement village and various community groups. Average age was 78 years old with a range from 65 to 96. We administered a measure of psychological acceptance and The Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale (COMQol). As hypothesised, people higher in PA also had higher quality of life in the areas of health, safety, community participation and emotional well-being. In addition, individuals high in PA had less adverse psychological reactions to decreasing productivity. Interventions that increase PA may lead to improved quality of life and resilience amongst the elderly.

Keywords

Acceptance Elderly Quality of life 

Abbreviations

AAQ

Acceptance and Action Questionnaire

COMQol

Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale

PA

Psychological acceptance

QOL

Quality of life

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the valuable assistance/support of Kincare and Nicki Kemp.

References

  1. 1.
    Aiken, L., & West, S. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Andrews, G., Clark, M., & Luszcz, M. (2002). Successful aging in the Australian longitudinal study of aging: Applying the Macarthur model cross-nationally. The Journal of Social Issues, 58, 749–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bach, P., & Hayes, S. (2002). The use of acceptance and commitment therapy to prevent the rehospitalization of psychotic patients: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 1129–139.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Block, J. (2002). Acceptance or change of private experiences: A comparative analysis in college students with public speaking anxiety. Doctoral dissertation University at Albany, State University of New York.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bond, F., & Bunce, D. (2000). Mediators of change in emotion-focused and problem-focused worksite stress management interventions. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 5, 156–63.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bond, F., & Bunce, D. (2003). The role of acceptance and job control in mental health, job satisfaction, and work performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 1057–067.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Booth, H., & Tickle, L. (2003). The future aged: New projections of Australia’s elderly population. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 22, 196–02.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bowling, A., Fleissig, A., Gabriel, Z., Banister, D., Dykes, J., Dowding, L., Sutton, S., & Evans, O. (2003). Let’s ask them: A national survey of definitions of quality of life and it’s enhancement among people aged 65 and over. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 56, 269–06.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chamie, J. (2004). World population prospects: The 2002 revision. New York United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Analytical Report III.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chow, S., Lo, S., & Cummins, R. (2005). Self-perceived quality of life of children and adolescents with physical disabilities in Hong Kong. Quality of Life Research, 14, 415–23.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cummins, R. (1996). The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos. Social Indicators Research, 38, 303–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cummins, R. (1997). Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale –adult: 5th ed (ComQol-A5). Australia: Melbourne School of Psychology, Deakin University.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cummins, R. (2000). Objective and subjective quality of life: An interactive model. Social Indicators Research, 52, 55–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dahl, J., Wilson, K., & Nilsson, A. (2004). Acceptance and commitment therapy and the treatment for persons at risk for long-term disability resulting from stress and pain symptoms: A preliminary randomized trial. Behavior Therapy, 35, 785–01.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Davis, N., & Douglas, F. (2004). Knowledge of aging and life satisfaction among older adults. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 59, 43–1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Donaldson, E., & Bond, F. (2004). The relative importance of psychological acceptance and emotional intelligence to workplace well-being. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 32, 187–03.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Efklides, A., Kalaitzidou, M., & Chankin, G. (2003). Subjective quality of life in old age in Greece. European Psychologist, 8, 178–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Eifert, G., & Heffner, M. (2003). The effects of acceptance versus control contexts on avoidance of panic-related symptoms. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 34, 293–12.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    von Essen, L. (2004). Proxy ratings of patient quality of life-factors related to patient-proxy agreement. Acta Oncologica, 43, 229–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Feldner, M., Zvolensky, M., Eifert, G., & Spira, A. (2002). Emotional avoidance: An experimental test of individual differences and response suppression using biological challenge. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41, 403–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gifford, E. (2002). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy versus Nicotine Replacement Therapy as methods of smoking cessation. Doctoral dissertation University of Nevada, Reno.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hagerty, M., Cummins, R., Ferriss, A., Land, K., Michalos, A., Peterson, M., Sharpe, A., Sirgy, J., & Vogel, J. (2001). Quality of life indexes for national policy: Review and agenda for research. Social Indicators Research, 55, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hayes, S., Bissett, R., Roget, N., Padilla, M., Kohlenberg B., Fisher, G., Masuda, A., Pistorello, J., Rye, A., Berry, K., & Niccolls, R. (2004). The impact of acceptance and commitment training and multicultural training on the stigmatizing attitudes and professional burnout of substance abuse counselors. Behavior Therapy, 35, 821–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hayes, S., Strosahl, K., & Wilson, K. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behaviour change. New York: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hayes, S., Strosahl, K., Wilson, K., Bissett, R., Pistorello, J., Toarmino, D., Polusny, M., Dykstra, T., Batten, S., Bergan, J., Stewart, S., Zvolensky, M., Eifert, M., Bond, F., Forsyth, J., Karekla, M., & Mccurry, S. (2004). Measuring experiential avoidance: A preliminary test of a working model. The Psychological Record, 54, 553–78.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hemphill, J. (2003). Interpreting the magnitudes of correlation coefficients. The American Psychologist, 58, 78–0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lane, J., & Wegner, D. (1995). The cognitive consequences of secrecy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 237–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Leung, K., Wu, E., Lue, B., & Tang, L. (2004). The use of focus groups in evaluating quality of life components among elderly Chinese people. Quality of Life Research, 13, 179–90.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lyubomirsky, S. (2001). Why are some people happier than others? The role of cognitive and motivation processes in well-being. The American Psychologist, 56, 239–49.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9, 111–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Maher, E., Cummins, R. (2001). Subjective quality of life, perceived control and dispositional optimism among older people. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 20, 139–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Metzler, C., Biglan, A., Noell, J., Ary, D., & Ochs, L. (2000). A randomized controlled trial of a behavioral intervention to reduce high-risk sexual behavior among adolescents in STD clinics. Behavior Therapy, 31, 27–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Pennebaker, J., Kiecolt-Glaser, J., & Glaser, R. (1988). Disclosure of traumas and immune function: Health implications for psychotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 239–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Petrie, K., Booth, R., & Pennebaker, J. (1998). The immunological effects of thought suppression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1264–272.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sloan, D. (2004). Emotion regulation in action: emotional reactivity in experiential avoidance. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42, 1257–270.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sneeuw, K., Aaronson, N., Sprangers, M., Detmar, S., Wever, L., & Schornagel, J. (1999). Evaluating the quality of life of cancer patients: Assessments by patients, significant others, physicians and nurses. British Journal of Cancer, 81, 87–4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Wegner, D. (1994). Ironic processes of mental control. Psychological Review, 101, 34–2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Wegner, D., Erber, R., & Zanakos, S. (1993). Ironic processes in the mental control of mood and mood-related thought. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 1093–104.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Wegner, D., & Gold, D. (1995). Fanning old flames: Emotional and cognitive effects of suppressing thoughts of a past relationship. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 782–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Wegner, D., & Zanakos, S. (1994). Chronic thought suppression. Journal of Personality, 62, 615–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    WHOQOL Group (1995). The World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL): Position paper from the World Health Organization. Social Science & Medicine, 41(10), 1403–409.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Zettle, R. (2003). Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) vs. systematic desensitization in treatment of mathematics anxiety. The Psychologial Record, 53, 197–15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

Personalised recommendations