University of Oulu

Vanhenevien ihmisten kotona selviytyminen : yli 65-vuotiaiden terveys, toimintakyky ja sosiaali- ja terveyspalvelujen koettu tarve

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Author: Rissanen, Lea1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health Science and General Practice
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.5 MB)
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Language: Finnish
Published: Oulu : University of Oulu, 1999
Publish Date: 1999-11-09
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Esitetään julkisesti tarkastettavaksi Oulun yliopiston lääketieteellisen tiedekunnan suostumuksella Oulun sosiaali- ja terveysalan oppilatoksen auditoriossa (Kiviharjuntie 8), 3. päivänä joulukuuta 1999 klo 12.
Reviewer: Docent Pirkko Jäntti
Professor Anna-Maija Pietilä


The daily coping of ageing people at home will be a challenge to society as the proportion of elderly population increases. In order to be able to respond to this challenge, we will need to know about the health and functional capacity of ageing people and their subjective experiences of the social and health care services that may help them to cope at home. The purpose of this study was to describe self-evaluated health, functional capacity and subjective need for and use of social and health care services among people aged over 65 and living in the Siurua area of Pudasjärvi in Finland.

The basic study population consisted of the Pudasjärvi residents aged over 65 years, of whom all those (N = 157) aged over 65 and living in one village were included in the population sample studied. The data were collected using a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire also included open-ended questions pertaining to health and psychic functioning. The results were expressed as mean values and deviations. The inter-variable connections were analysed using cross-tabulation, scatter diagrams, and contingency and Spearman's correlation coefficients. Discrimination analysis was used to evaluate the use of health care services. The responses to open-ended questions were analysed with inductive content analysis.

The average self-evaluated physical and psychosocial health of the people aged over 65 who participated in the study was good. Men evaluated their health as slightly poorer than women, and they were also more depressive. Feelings of well-being were associated with subjective experiences of good health. For both men and women, well-being was manifested as a rich diversity of everyday life, such as activity and social relations. Most of the ageing people were aware of the importance of taking care of their health, and their health care seemed to be based on knowledge of the impacts of various health-promoting factors and habits on their health status. The study subjects had certain chronic diseases, of which cardiovascular diseases were most common. Three-fourths off the study subjects took some medication daily.

In both age groups, both men and women reported independent management of the basic activities of daily living. Men aged over 75 needed more help than the others in their daily activities. Over the past few years, both men and women had had good rather than satisfactory functional capacity. They described the best part of their lives in largely the same way. For women, life had been and still continued to be full of challenges despite the hardships. Men tended to reminisce about the hardness of life, and many still had bitter and unpleasant memories of the wartime. The major resources of women were religion, family and a positive outlook. Men derived strength from their responsibilities, expectations of a better future and religion. On an average, the social functional capacities of both men and women were good.

The study subjects used social services very rarely, and health was not related to their use. Men and the subjects aged over 75 used slightly more health care services than women. Subjective health was the best discriminator of the use of health care services.

The findings of this research can be used to develop social and health care services to support the coping of ageing and elderly people at home and the social and health care education. They can also be used to plan methods and studies to promote the health and functional capacity of ageing people.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN: 0355-3221
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISSN-L: 0355-3221
ISBN: 951-42-5441-4
ISBN Print: 951-42-5440-6
Issue: 560
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 1999. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.