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Happiness and background factors in community-dwelling older persons


, : Happiness and background factors in community-dwelling older persons. Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. Japanese Journal of Geriatrics 36(12): 861-867

In order to maintain and improve mental health of elderly people living in the community, a cross sectional survey was conducted to elucidate their happiness and background factors. The subjects were elderly persons living in the community who were able to fill in the questionnaire themselves. The study employed the self-recording questionnaire forms used in Kahoku Longitudinal Aging Study by Matsubayashi et al. Happiness was assessed using a visual analogue scale. Out of 2,379 elderly persons who were able to fill in the questionnaire by themselves in 2,361 (99.2%) returned the questionnaire sheets. After removing inadequate responses, analysis was possible for 1,873 (78.7%) (860 men (average age 72.7 years) and 1,013 women (average age 72.8 years). Among those with greater happiness, the ratio of those living with others (p = 0.0051) was high as well as those with spouses (p = 0.0240), without a history of hypertension (p = 0.0096) and apoplexy (p = 0.0039), not receiving medication regularly (p = 0.0039), with regular habit of walking (p < 0.001), or with work (p < 0.001). As for the relationship between happiness and various scores, the higher the happiness scale became, the scores for ADL, information-related function, functional and emotional support network, healthy condition, appetite condition, sleep condition, memory condition, family relationships, friendship, economic condition became significantly higher (p < 0.001, respectively). On multiple regression analysis using the background factors for happiness as explanatory variables, factors such as functional support network (p < 0.001), emotional support network (p = 0.0254), healthy condition (p < 0.001), good memory condition (p = 0.0027), friendship (p < 0.001), good economic condition (p < 0.001) were significant independent contributing factors. As for the relation between SDS and happiness, the more serious the SDS score (higher score) became, the scores for the feeling of happiness became significantly smaller (p < 0.001). For amelioration of the happiness of elderly persons living in the community, attempts should be made to improve the background factors clarified by the present study by efficiently utilizing health, medical and welfare services.

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Accession: 046212038

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