Factors associated with good self-management in older adults with a schizophrenic disorder compared with older adults with physical illnesses

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 2012, 19 (2), pp. 146 - 153
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The number of older people living with a schizophrenic disorder (SD) is increasing yet little attention paid has been paid to the needs of this population relative to people with other chronic illnesses. In order to achieve optimal functioning people with a SD need to manage their illness and its impact; therefore, this study set out to determine the factors associated with self-management in this population. The illness management of people over 50 years of age and living with schizophrenia (n= 84) was compared with their peers who were diagnosed with a chronic physical illness (n= 216). Participants completed a survey that included an illness management inventory, self-rated health and sense of coherence. The results demonstrated that participants with a SD had lower illness management levels, particularly for understanding their symptoms and taking appropriate actions in relation to health care. Poor self-rated health and the presence of comorbid conditions had a pervasive negative effect on self-management factors in the SD group, whereas being married, having a greater sense of coherence and being voluntary to treatment had a positive effect. Nurses need to develop strategies to address general health and self-management in older adults living with a SD. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing.
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