Spirituality, depression, living alone, and perceived health among Korean older adults in the community

Kwang Soo You, Hae-Ok Lee, Joyce J Fitzpatrick, Susie Kim, Eiji Marui, Jung Su Lee, Paul Cook
Archives of Psychiatric Nursing 2009, 23 (4): 309-22
Both theoretical and empirical studies have documented the protective effect of religiosity and spirituality on general health in older adults in community and hospital settings; however, no study has documented the relationship between spirituality and depression among older adults living alone in communities in Korea. We tested two hypotheses: Hypothesis 1: Korean older adults living alone would be more depressed and less healthy than older adults living with family, and Hypothesis 2: Individuals who are more religious and spiritual would report a lower level of depression and a higher level of general health even when other demographic and living status variables are controlled. A descriptive, comparative, and correlational design with a convenience sampling method was conducted among community-dwelling Korean older adults in Chounbook Providence, South Korea. This study included 152 men and women older than 65 years old. Hypothesis 1 was supported as Korean older adults living alone were significantly more depressed than were older adults living with family (P<.01). However, for Hypotheses 2, only spirituality activities and Spirituality Index of Well-Being scores were significantly associated with general health and/or depression (P<.01), but there were no relationships between the variables of attendance and importance of religion with general health and depression.


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