Self-Care of the Older Person in the Potchefstroom District

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Tinda Rabie, BACur
School of Nursing Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Hester Klopper, PhD, MBA, RN, RM
School of Nursing, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Learning Objective 1: develop self-care guidelines based on a literature review and self-care assessment.

Learning Objective 2: correlate the Appraisal of self-care agency A and Exercise of self-care agency scales

Purpose:
To develop guidelines to facilitate self-care amongst the older persons in the Potchefstroom district. This was accomplished by (ii) conducting a literature review to understand self-care and related constructs from a theoretical perspective; the assessment of the self-care of older persons living in the Potchefstroom district; and the correlation of the Appraisal of self-care agency scale – A (ASA-A) and the Exercise of self-care agency scale (ESCA).
Methods:
A quantitative, descriptive, correlational and contextual design was used. Two structured questionnaires, the ASA-A and ESCA, based on Dorothea Orem’s self-care deficit theory of nursing, which measured self-care were employed to collect data. The study formed part of the larger Multinational Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological study (PURE-SA study). Trained fieldworkers assisted the researcher in data collection.
Results:
Although the studied older population was of a lower socio-economic status with a lower literacy level, their overall self-care was relatively good. Seven self-care deficits were identified: time management skills affecting self-care, energy deficit affecting self-care, sleep deprivation, lack of knowledge and ability to acquire knowledge with regard to health and self-care, lack of a rest, exercise and self-care programme, self-care deficit caused by physical deterioration and, lastly, the lack of performance of activities to prevent/decrease self-care deficits. The identified self-care deficits based on Dorothea Orem’s self-care deficit theory of nursing, Menon’s psychological health empowerment model and a literature review supported the development of guidelines to facilitate self-care amongst older persons. The ASA-A and ESCA questionnaires had a very strong negative correlation (r = -0,79).
Conclusion:
Self-care was assessed to identify self-care deficits.  Self-care deficits, Menon's psychological health empowerment model and a literature review resulted in the development of self-care guidelines. These guidelines assist in the promotion of health by empowering the older person to make autonomous self-care decisions which increase the quality of life.