Quality of life and related factors: a questionnaire survey of older people living alone in Mainland China
- 911 Downloads
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.
- 1.United Nations. (2009). World population ageing 2009. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
- 2.United Nations. (2001). World population ageing: 1950–2050. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
- 3.World Health Organization. (2008). WHO global report on falls prevention in older age. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
- 5.Casey, B., & Yamada, A. (2002). Getting older, getting poorer? A study of the earnings, pensions, assets and living arrangements of older people in nine countries. OECD labour market and social policy occasional papers, no. 60, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/345816633534. Accessed March 24, 2013.
- 7.Lee, J. J. (2005). An exploratory study on the quality of life of older Chinese people living alone in Hong Kong. Social Indicators Research, 71(1–3), 335–361.Google Scholar
- 9.World Health Organization. (1977). Prevention of mental disorders in the elderly. Copenhagen: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
- 11.World Health Organization. (2002). Active ageing. A policy framework. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
- 15.Chen, Z. L., & Chen, X. B. (2006). Discussion on situation of the ageing in Shanghai and its countermeasures. Chinese Health Service Management, 22(11), 671–673.Google Scholar
- 16.Zhang, L. (2010). Shanghai coming to grip with its aging population problems. EAI background brief, no. 517. http://www.eai.nus.edu.sg/BB517.pdf. Accessed August 30, 2013.
- 17.Gerontological Society of Shanghai. (2011). 2010 Shanghai monitored statistical information on population of the elderly & development of old age program. http://www.shanghaigss.org.cn/news_view.asp?newsid=7892. Accessed August 30, 2013.
- 18.National Bureau of Statistics of China. (2011). Major figures of the sixth national population census. http://www.stats.gov.cn/zgrkpc/dlc/yw/t20110428_402722384.htm. Accessed August 30, 2013.
- 19.Newton, R. R., & Rudestam, K. E. (1999). Your statistical consultant: Answers to your data analysis questions. California: Sage.Google Scholar
- 20.Pfeiffer, E. (1975). A Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire for the assessment of organic brain deficit in elderly patients. Journal of American Geriatric Society, 23(10), 433–441.Google Scholar
- 21.Chen, Y., Hicks, A., & While, A. E. (2013). Validity and reliability of the modified Chinese version of the Older People’s Quality of Life Questionnaire (OPQOL) in older people living alone in China. International Journal of Older People Nursing. doi: 10.1111/opn.12042.
- 23.Sheikh, J. L., & Yesavage, J. A. (1986). Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS): Recent evidence and development of a shorter version. Clinical Gerontologist, 5(1–2), 165–173.Google Scholar
- 27.Xiao, S. Y. (1999). The Social Support Rate Scale. In X. D. Ma, X. L. Wang, & H. Ma (Eds.), The handbook of Mental Health Rating Scales (pp. 127–131). Beijing: Chinese Mental Health Journal Press.Google Scholar
- 28.Haskell, W. L., Lee, I. M., Pate, R. R., Powell, K. E., Blair, S. N., Franklin, B. A., et al. (2007). Physical activity and public health: Updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39(8), 1423–1434.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 29.Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2012). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
- 30.Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). New York: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
- 31.Zhong, R. Y. (2004). An analysis of the living condition of the elders living alone in Shanghai and the policy related. Journal of Social Science, 8, 66–70.Google Scholar
- 38.Jia, S. M., Feng, Z. Y., Hu, Y., & Wang, J. Q. (2004). Survey of the living quality and its effect factors for the aged people in urban community of Shanghai city. Journal of Nurses Training, 19(5), 420–423.Google Scholar
- 40.Cai, T. J. (2004). Self-rated life satisfaction and its determinants among Chinese elderly females living alone. Chinese Journal of Population Science, S1, 70–74.Google Scholar
- 42.Huang, J. Q., Chen, Q. E., & Shu, X. F. (2005). A study on the relationship between quality of life and social support of elder in community. Chinese Journal of Behavioral Medicine Science, 14(8), 725–726.Google Scholar
- 43.Xiao, S. Y. (1994). The theoretical basis and applications of Social Support Rate Scale. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 4(2), 98–100.Google Scholar
- 47.Ruggeri, M., Nose, M., Bonetto, C., Cristofalo, D., Lasalvia, A., Salvi, G., et al. (2005). Changes and predictors of change in objective and subjective quality of life: Multiwave follow-up study in community psychiatric practice. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, 121–130.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 53.Ning, H. D., Luo, C. S., Zhang, Q. X., Zhu, Y. H., Wu, S. Y., Liang, H. Y., et al. (1999). An epidemiological study on quality of life among elderly population in Shenzhen. Chinese Journal of Prevention and Control of Chronic Non-communicable Diseases, 7(4), 1–5.Google Scholar
- 54.Qian, Z. C., & Zhou, M. (2004). Social support and quality of life: China’s oldest-old. http://paa2005.princeton.edu/papers/51243. Accessed September 13, 2012.