Psychological health among frail older adults with chronic pain in the community: Does the healthy living program help?

Mun Yee Mimi Tse, Rose Heung, Vanessa T.C. Wan

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Background. Populations are aging and an increasing number of people are suffering from disease and disability as part of the aging process. Pain is common in older adults, and affects both their physical and psychological functioning. However, the majority of older adults who experience pain do not seek the advice of health care professionals. Uncontrollable pain can lead to a spiral of inactivity and reduce the quality of life of older adults in the community. A self-managed health program may help to break through this spiral, thus reducing uncontrollable chronic pain among frail older adults and enabling them to live happier lives. Method. Two community elderly centers agreed to host the Healthy Living Program (HLP). Fifty community dwelling older people from those two centers were invited to join the six-week HLP. The program covered the following topics: healthy eating habits, pain management, and information on drugs related to pain and chronic illness. The targeted participants were recruited from the community elderly centers by convenience sampling. In the study, psychological well-being among older adults was measured preand post- test using a subjective happiness scale. In addition, information on the participants’ knowledge of healthy eating habits, fall prevention, and drugs was collected. Results. A slight increase was seen in the participants’ scores on the happiness scale after the HLP, but the change was not statistically significant. Their pain scores decreased, and their pain interference scores showed a statistically significant decrease (p < 0.05). Finally, a significant improvement was noted in the participants’ intake of protein, vegetables, and fruit and in their knowledge of drug management. Conclusion. A health self-management program should be offered to elderly people, and nurses should encourage them to engage in it to enrich their knowledge of how to take care of themselves, increase their happiness, and enhance their quality of life. Older adults with good habits will then be able to enjoy longer and healthier lives in the community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychological Well-Being
Subtitle of host publicationCultural Influences, Measurement Strategies and Health Implications
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages175-184
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781634843706
ISBN (Print)9781634843546
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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