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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 387; doi:10.3390/ijerph14040387

Relative Association of Multi-Level Supportive Environments on Poor Health among Older Adults

1
Department of Public Health Studies, Texas A&M School of Public Health, McAllen Campus, McAllen, TX 78503, USA
2
Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M School of Public Health, College Station, TX 77843, USA
3
Institute of Gerontology, Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, College of Public Health, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 7 February 2017 / Revised: 31 March 2017 / Accepted: 2 April 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Health Promotion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [600 KB, uploaded 7 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Background: The aging of the United States population poses significant challenges to American healthcare and informal caregiving systems. Additional research is needed to understand how health promotion programs and policies based on a socio-ecological perspective impact the health and well-being of older persons. The purpose of this study was to investigate personal characteristics and supportive environments associated with poor health among older individuals aged 65 and over. Methods: This study used a cross-sectional design and was guided by a conceptual framework developed by the authors to depict the relationship between personal characteristics and environments associated with poor health status. Environment types included in this study were family, home, financial, neighborhood, and healthcare. The sample was comprised of 1319 adults aged 65 years and older residing in Central Texas. From a random selection of households, participants were administered a mail-based survey created by a community collaborative effort. Descriptive statistics and three binary logistic regression models were fitted to examine associations with poor health status (i.e., physical, mental, and combined physical/mental). Results: Two personal characteristics (number of chronic conditions and educational level) were consistently related (p < 0.05) to health outcomes. Supportive family, home, financial, neighborhood, and health care environmental factors were shown to be related (p < 0.05) to various aspects of physical or mental health outcomes. Conclusions: Multidimensional factors including personal characteristics and protective environments are related to health status among older individuals. The unique roles of each environment can help inform public health interventions to create and enhance support for older adults to engage in healthful activities and improve their physical and mental health. View Full-Text
Keywords: older adult; health status; supportive environments; physical health; mental health; United States of America; aging older adult; health status; supportive environments; physical health; mental health; United States of America; aging
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mier, N.; Ory, M.G.; Towne, S.D.; Smith, M.L. Relative Association of Multi-Level Supportive Environments on Poor Health among Older Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 387.

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