Thesis defence in the University of Oulu

Doctoral Candidate

MHSc (master of health sciences) Sinikka Lotvonen

Faculty and research unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management
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Field of study

Nursing science

Date and time of the thesis defence

16.8.2019 12:00

Place of the thesis defence

Leena Palotie sali 101A, Faculty of Medicine, Aapistie 5A

Topic of the dissertation

The physical performance of elderly people during the first year in senior housing, its change and the factors associated with it

Opponent

Adjunct professor Anja Rantanen, University of Tampere

Custos

Adjunct professor Satu Elo, University of Oulu

The physical performance of elderly people during the first year in senior housing, its change and the factors associated with it

The purpose of the study was to describe and evaluate the measured and self-reported physical performance of the elderly people who relocated to senior housing and their change 3 and 12 months after the relocation. Besides, the association of self-reported physical performance, social environment and psychological well-being with measured physical performance changes was examined.

The objective of the research was to provide information that can be used in the design and management of practices that aim to assess and support the physical performance of those living in senior housing. Data were collected from elderly (n = 81) who moved to senior housing in northern Finland (n = 11) in 2014, and 70% of them were women. The indicators that were used were the Oldwellactive Questionnaire, the Environmental Support instrument and the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). The data were analyzed with statistical methods.

Physical performance of those who relocated to senior housing was weak. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) walking speed, right hand grip strength and self-reported IADL significantly decreased during their first year of residence. Besides, self-reported IADL performance became more difficult but muscle strength training, as well as participation in hobby groups increased. Residents estimated that they can do what they want, and they can sufficiently meet their loved ones in the senior housing. Self-reported physical performance was associated with the deterioration of performing IADL and the slowdown of walking speed. Social environment and psychological well-being were associated with the deterioration of performing IADL, the slowdown of walking speed and the weakening of the dominant hand´s grip strength.

This research provides more information about the physical performance, the social environment and the psychological well-being of the elderly who relocated to senior housing. Research results will help service providers to improve the procedures that aim to the physical performance assessment and support of the residents, paying attention to the impact of the elderly’s individuality in requirements associated with the realization of the services.

Research results show that organizations maintaining senior housing must organize exercise areas suitable for the residents and the means for indoors and outdoors muscle training and balance exercise. Individual factors related to physical performance, social environment and psychological well-being of the residents should be considered in the design, implementation and management of these services.

Dissertation

Last updated: 6.8.2019