Terry Peralta-Catipon, Jengliang Eric Hwang; Personal Factors Predictive of Health-Related Lifestyles of Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Am J Occup Ther 2011;65(3):329–337. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.000505
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
We explored personal factors that can predict health-related lifestyles of community-dwelling older adults. A convenience sample of 253 older adults was recruited to complete the Health Enhancement Lifestyle Profile (HELP), a comprehensive measure of health-promoting behaviors. Data were analyzed through univariate correlational/comparative statistics followed by stepwise multiple regression analysis to determine significant predictor variables for different aspects of health-related lifestyle. Personal health conditions, including the number of chronic diseases or impairments and self-rated health, were two strong predictors for the HELP (R2 = .571, p < .0001). Demographic characteristics, including age, gender, race, education, and employment status, also demonstrated varied degrees of capability for predicting the different HELP scales (e.g., Exercise, Diet, Leisure). When developing individualized plans for older adults in community settings, occupational therapists should consider the clients’ strengths and vulnerabilities potentially derived from personal health factors and demographic attributes to yield more effective lifestyle interventions.
Demographics, such as age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, and education
Fifteen chronic illnesses or impairments (i.e., arthritis; back or neck problems; eye or vision problems; diabetes; heart problems; depression, anxiety, or emotional problems; walking problems) derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health-Related Quality-of-Life 14-Item Measure (CDC, 2000), assessed in a checklist
Self-rated heath, assessed in a single question that was modified from the RAND 36-Item Health Survey (i.e., “How do you rate your overall health status: excellent, good, fair, or poor?”; Hays & Morales, 2001).
Older men are more likely than older women to engage in exercise but are less likely to participate in activities related to paid or volunteer work, social networking, stress management, and spiritual or religious participation.
Employment (both full time and part time) among older adults provides an opportunity for enhancing productivity and socialization; conversely, it may compromise leisure participation of older adults.
Compared with Whites, elderly Asian and African-Americans are less likely to participate in paid or volunteer work as well as social and leisure activities.
Compared with Whites, elderly Asians and Hispanic/Latinos are more involved in spiritual or religious activities.
A higher level of education correlates with a higher level of leisure participation as well as a higher frequency of health self-monitoring behaviors (e.g., routine check on blood pressure and body weight) and a lower frequency of health risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, frequent use of over-the-counter drugs).
The older the adult is, the lower is the frequency of health risk behaviors.
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