Examination of Factors Related to Elderly People's Purpose of Life in Japan

Monday, 9 November 2015

Takashi Ohue, PhD, RN
Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Science, Hyogo University, hyogo, Japan

Purpose: Older adults’ sense of purpose in life has been an important subject in Japan along with their well-being and healthy long life. The purpose of this research is to examine factors related to elderly people's purpose of life in Japan.

Methods Older adults (N = 250) aged 65 and over gathering in the Kakogawa public hall in Japan were asked to participate. They were asked about their individual attribution and maintenance of healthy condition. Moreover,These items were measured using the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale covering "Agitation," "Lonely dissatisfaction," and "Attitude toward own aging",General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) Scale. Ethical considerations: The protocol of this study was approved by the Hyogo University Ethics Committee, Japan.

Results Questionnaires were distributed to 250 elderly people and answers were collected from 244. After exclusion of missing values and outliers, data from 234 elderly people (male: 49, female: 185) were used in the analysis. "Attitude toward own aging" had young old higher than the late elderly (p< 0.05). "Agitation" was higher to the male than to the female (p< 0.05). Number of events leading to purpose of life showed positive correlations with "Agitation"; "Lonely dissatisfaction"; "Attitude toward own aging" (p< 0.05).Specifically, it was an occurrence improve sense of purpose in life where "Educational and cultural enrichment activities", "Sports or recreational activities", "Volunteer activities", "Activities for an elderly’s club", "Care of grandchildren, and family get-together", "Going for shopping or on a trip". Number of diseases showed negative correlations with sense of purpose in life (p< 0.05).Specifically, cardiopathy, fracture, liver disease, and dementia were diseases for which reduce the sense of purpose in life. Purpose of life showed correlation with mental health and ADL (p < .05).

Conclusion: In order to improve elderly people's sense of purpose in life, it is important to intervene to a disease and not to increase the number of diseases. Moreover, it proved that study and activity raise elderly people's sense of purpose in life. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt contents, such as prevention of a disease, and study and activity of elderly people, by the contents of the intervention program which raises elderly people's sense of purpose in life.