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Autonomy and social functioning of recently admitted nursing home residents



Autonomy and social functioning of recently admitted nursing home residents



Aging and Mental Health 21(9): 910-916



This paper examines recently admitted nursing home residents' practical autonomy, their remaining social environment and their social functioning. In a cross-sectional design, 391 newly admitted residents of 67 nursing homes participated. All respondents were ≥65 years old, had mini-mental state examination ≥18 and were living in the nursing home for at least 1 month. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and validated measuring tools. The mean age was 84, 64% were female, 23% had a partner, 80% children, 75% grandchildren and 59% siblings. The mean social functioning score was 3/9 (or 33%) and the autonomy and importance of autonomy score 6/9 (or 67%). More autonomy was observed when residents could perform activities of daily living more independently, and cognitive functioning, quality of life and social functioning were high. Residents with depressive feelings scored lower on autonomy and social functioning compared to those without depressive feelings. Having siblings and the frequency of visits positively correlated with social functioning. In turn, social functioning correlated positively with quality of life. Moreover, a higher score on social functioning lowered the probability of depression. Autonomy or self-determination and maintaining remaining social relationships were considered to be important by the new residents. The remaining social environment, social functioning, quality of life, autonomy and depressive feelings influenced each other, but the cause--effect relation was not clear.

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Accession: 057273921

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PMID: 27177229

DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2016.1181711


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