Learning Objective 1: To recognize the impact of gender on perceiving stress among institutionalized elders
Learning Objective 2: To understand the risk factors for stress among institutionalized elders
To examine perceived stress levels among institutionalized Taiwanese elders using demographic characteristics as variables.
Research design: Cross-sectional design with comparative analysis, conducted in eight elder care institutions in southern Taiwan.
Sample: A purposive sample of 196 subjects with a mean age 79.25 ± 7.40 years.
Measurement: Demographic questionnaires included age, gender, marital status, financial status, type of facility, and the degree of willingness to be institutionalized. Perceived stress was measured by the Perceived Stress Scale. Differences between demographics were determined using t-test and one-way ANOVA.
Taiwanese institutionalized elders experienced mild stress (mean = 11.86). No significant difference in demographics was evident, except the degree of willingness to be institutionalized. Institutionalized elders who expressed strong unwillingness to be institutionalized had significantly higher means for perceived stress than those with mildly unwilling or neutral attitudes towards institutionalization. (F=2.91, p < .05).
Stress can be experienced among institutionalized elders’ regardless demographic differences. Greater efforts need to be directed toward preventing stress in those elders who express negative attitudes towards institutionalization.
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