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Inner strength and its relationship to health threats in ageing: a cross-sectional study among community-dwelling older women
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Advanced Nursing, ISSN 0309-2402, E-ISSN 1365-2648, Vol. 73, no 11, p. 2720-2729Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: To explore the relationship between inner strength and health threats among community-dwelling older women. Background: Inner strength is described as a resource that promotes experiences of health, despite adversities. Inner strength and its dimensions (i.e. connectedness, creativity, firmness and flexibility) can be assessed using the Inner Strength Scale (ISS). Exploring attributes of weaker inner strength may yield valuable information about areas to focus on in enhancing a person's inner strength and may ultimately lead to the perception of better health. Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey. Methods: The study is based on responses from 1270 community-dwelling older women aged 65 years and older; these were collected in the year 2010 and describe the situation that still exists today for older women. The questionnaire included the ISS, background characteristics and explanatory variables known to be health threats in ageing. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Poorer mental health was related to weaker inner strength in total and in all the dimensions. Symptoms of depressive disorders and feeling lonely were related to three of the dimensions, except firmness and creativity respectively. Furthermore, poor physical health was associated with the dimensions firmness and flexibility. Other health threats were significantly related to only one of the dimensions, or not associated at all. Conclusion: Mental ill health has overall the strongest association with weaker inner strength. Longitudinal studies are recommended to confirm the results. However, the ISS does not only estimate inner strength but can also be a tool for discovering where (i.e. dimension) interventions may be most profitable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2017. Vol. 73, no 11, p. 2720-2729
Keywords [en]
connectedness, creativity, firmness, flexibility, health threats, inner strength, mental ill health, nursing, old age, women
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-143949DOI: 10.1111/jan.13341ISI: 000418363000023PubMedID: 28513995OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-143949DiVA, id: diva2:1174188
Available from: 2018-01-15 Created: 2018-01-15 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Boman, ErikaLundman, BeritNygren, BjörnSantamäki Fischer, Regina

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