Quality of life and related factors: a questionnaire survey of older people living alone in Mainland China
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There is a growing population of older people living alone within the context of dramatic population ageing and changing living arrangements. However, little is known about the quality of life (QoL) of older people living alone in Mainland China. This study aimed to investigate QoL and its related factors among Chinese older people who live alone.
A stratified random cluster sample of 521 community-dwelling older people living alone in Shanghai completed a structured questionnaire through face-to-face interviews. QoL was measured using the Older People’s Quality of Life Questionnaire. Other data collected included self-rated health, physical health, cognitive function, depression, functional ability, loneliness, social support, physical activity, health services satisfaction, satisfaction with overall dwelling conditions and socio-demographic variables.
Older people living alone in Mainland China rated social relationships and financial circumstances as sources of low satisfaction within their QoL. Multiway analysis of variance showed that satisfaction with overall dwelling conditions, self-rated health, functional ability, depression, economic level, social support, loneliness, previous occupation and health services satisfaction were independently related to QoL, accounting for 68.8 % of the variance. Depression and previous occupation had an interaction effect upon QoL.
This study identified nine factors influencing the QoL of older people living alone in Mainland China. Interventions to increase satisfaction with dwelling conditions, improve economic level, social support and functional ability, decrease loneliness and depression and improve health services satisfaction appear to be important for enhancing their QoL.
KeywordsQuality of life Related factors Living alone Older people China
The authors would like to thank Professor Yan Hu and Professor Hai-ou Xia for their translation of the OPQOL and Mr. Peter Milligan for his advice on statistical analysis. We thank data collectors for their assistance in data collection and the older people for their participating in this study. The authors would also like to thank China Scholarship Council, King’s College London and Fudan University for their financial support.
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