Special Issue "Psychosocial Factors and Health Outcomes of the Elderly"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Meng-Chih Lee
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
Interests: family medicine; community health; health promotion; geriatric care; longitudinal study on social determinants of health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Psychosocial factors, such as social support, marital status, unemployment, and economic status, play important roles in the mental and physical health of older adults. Furthermore, these factors are associated with mortality. In a society that pursues health and welfare, more and more resources are being devoted to psychosocial issues in older adults. The allocation of limited resources effectively and accurately is a challenging dilemma for public health and aging policies. On the one hand, the interaction among psychosocial factors is difficult to clarify. On the other hand, the long-term real-world evidence generated from population-based representatives is limited. Therefore, all policymakers are eager to understand how to break the psychosocial vicious circle and promote better quality of life in older adults.

In this Special Issue, interested authors are invited to contribute their research. Both qualitative and quantitative studies are welcome. We encourage authors using innovative approaches to unveil the complicated association among psychosocial factors and the health outcomes, including active aging, mental health, physical health, frailty, geriatric syndrome, and even mortality. In particular, works that address the cost-effective suggestions for policies will be suitable for this Special Issue. Review articles that compare health and welfare policies for psychosocial issues between countries are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Meng-Chih Lee
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Unemployment
  • Marital status
  • Social support
  • Social isolation
  • Leisure activity
  • Economic status
  • Active aging
  • Healthy behaviors
  • Mental health (cognitive impairment, dementia, depression)
  • Physical health (activity of daily living (ADL), disability, instrumental activity of daily living (IADL))
  • Frailty
  • Geriatric syndrome
  • Mortality

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Effect of Spousal Loss on Depression in Older Adults: Impacts of Time Passing, Living Arrangement, and Spouse’s Health Status before Death
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13032; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413032 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 446
Abstract
In addition to increasing the mortality among older adults, spousal death (SD) increases their risk of depression. This study explored the factors affecting depression among widowed older adults to provide health care strategies for successful aging. A total of 710 adults older than [...] Read more.
In addition to increasing the mortality among older adults, spousal death (SD) increases their risk of depression. This study explored the factors affecting depression among widowed older adults to provide health care strategies for successful aging. A total of 710 adults older than 60 years completed a questionnaire before and after their spouses’ deaths. The survey data included age, sex, ethnic group, education level, financial station socioeconomic status, SD (including time point), smoking status, alcohol consumption, self-rated health status, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale score, mobility, and degree of support from relatives and friends. The proportion of participants with depression after SD was 1.7 times that of before SD (p < 0.0001). Worsened mobility (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3, p < 0.01), low self-rated health status (OR = 0.5, p < 0.01), and a high degree of support from relatives and friends (OR = 1.5, p < 0.01) had a significant positive correlation with depression after SD. The proportion of depression that occurred within 6 months after SD was 6.0 times higher than that of depression before SD. Participants who lived alone after losing their spouses who were healthy before their deaths exhibited a significantly increased proportion of depression after their spouses’ deaths. Male sex, spouse’s health, and the period of 6 months after SD are risk factors for depression in older adults. The maintenance of mobility, positive self-rated health status, and a shorter period of depression after a spouse’s death result in more favorable adaptability among women. Social workers or family members should focus on older adults whose spouses died unexpectedly or within the last 6 months. Living with family members after SD can alleviate depression in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Factors and Health Outcomes of the Elderly)
Article
Social Participation and Survival in Widowed Persons: Results of the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10974; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010974 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 503
Abstract
It has been considered that widowed persons have a higher risk of death. This study intended to explore whether social participation could improve this trend. A longitudinal study database was constructed to explore the trend of survival and its change with social participation [...] Read more.
It has been considered that widowed persons have a higher risk of death. This study intended to explore whether social participation could improve this trend. A longitudinal study database was constructed to explore the trend of survival and its change with social participation in widowed persons. The Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging (TLSA), based on four consecutive waves of longitudinal follow-up data in 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011 was linked with the National Death Registry from 1999 through 2012. In total, there were 1417 widowed persons and 4500 nonwidowed persons included in this study, excluding divorced and never-married people. The survival trend analysis was carried out with social participation as the main predictive factor stratified for comparative analysis. Our results showed that the widowed were older than the nonwidowed, were female-dominant, had a lower education level, were more economically stressed, and were less likely to engage in regular exercise, and thus showed generally poorer health; for example, being more vulnerable to having chronic diseases, disability with the Activities of Daily Living (ADL), cognitive impairment with the Short Portable Mental State Questionnaire (SPMSQ), and depression with The Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D). The death risk of the widowed was significantly higher than that of the nonwidowed, but the death trend for those with social participation was significantly lower than that of their counterparts in both the widowed and nonwidowed. After matching with gender and age for widowed persons, the widowed with social participation had a significantly lower risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.71–0.98) compared to the widowed without social participation. It was concluded that social participation can improve the death risk for the widowed, and it is worthily included in health promotion plans and social welfare services for widowed persons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Factors and Health Outcomes of the Elderly)
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Article
The Practice of Vigorous Physical Activity Is Related to a Higher Educational Level and Income in Older Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10815; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010815 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Few studies have shown evidence about the factors that can determine physical practice in women over 60 years of age due to educational, economic, social, or health inequalities. Its knowledge could help to understand the determinants that encourage the practice of physical activity [...] Read more.
Few studies have shown evidence about the factors that can determine physical practice in women over 60 years of age due to educational, economic, social, or health inequalities. Its knowledge could help to understand the determinants that encourage the practice of physical activity and the improvement of health in women over 60. Therefore, the aim of this research was to evaluate the level of studies, income, and the usefulness of social and health services in physically active older women according to the level of activity they practice. The IPAQ (International Physical Activity Questionnaire) and CUBRECAVI (subjective health scale) scales have been applied to a sample of 257 women between 61 and 93 years old (M = 69.44, SD = 4.61). The results have shown that those with vigorous physical activity are related to higher levels of education (p < 0.001) and income (p = 0.004). Furthermore, being dissatisfied with social and health services is associated with low levels of physical activity (p = 0.005). Older women who perform physical activity regularly are associated with high levels in some of the socio-environmental aspects of quality of life. High physical activity is related to a higher educational level and income. Socio-environmental factors generate social inequalities and modulate the lifestyles of older women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Factors and Health Outcomes of the Elderly)
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