Relationships between biopsychosocial characteristics and adaptive health patterns in elder women




Murphy, Kathleen Page

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The purpose of the study was to describe the relationship between biopsychosocial characteristics, health patterns, and ethnicity in aging females. The variables of physical health, mobility, emotional and cognitive status, ability to trust, social support, economic characteristics, and ethnicity were explored in relation to adaptive health patterns along with certain demographic variables. The sample consisted of ninety subjects between the ages of 60 to 85 years from a large southwestern city. The Iowa Self-Assessment Inventory and the Demographic Data Sheet were the instruments used in the study.

A systems approach was employed based on Roy's Adaptation Model. The findings support the conceptual framework. This study viewed the elder woman as a whole that functions by virtue of the interdependence of her biopsychosocial characteristics. Many of the subjects did not attain adaptive subscale scores in the seven biopsychosocial variables, however the majority of women did attain cumulative adaptive scores. These findings suggest that elder women are holistic adaptive systems.

The following findings were derived from statistical analysis of the three research questions. The majority (58.9%, n=53) of elder females reported adaptive health patterns. African-American elder women had the largest percentage (21.1%, n=19) of women achieving adaptive health. Hispanic elder women had the least (12.1%, n=11) number of women achieving adaptive health patterns. Married women attained a higher percentage (34.4%, n=31) of adaptive health patterns than their single, widowed, divorced, or separated counterparts. A significant inverse relationship was found between age and adaptive health patterns (r=−.32, p=.00, n=90). A significant positive relationship was found between years of education and adaptive health patterns (r=.23, p=.02, n=90). A strong relationship was noted between ethnicity (phi=0.74) and adaptive health patterns. Ethnicity accounted for fifty-five percent of the shared variance.



Psychology, Nursing, Gerontology, Older people, Women, Biology