Exploring quality of life among the elderly in Hai Duong province, Vietnam: a rural-urban dialogue

Nguyen Thanh Huong, Le Thi Hai Ha, Nguyen Thai Quynh Chi, Hill, Peter S. and Walton, Tara (2012) Exploring quality of life among the elderly in Hai Duong province, Vietnam: a rural-urban dialogue. Global Health Action, 5 18874.1-18874.12. doi:10.3402/gha.v5i0.18874

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Author Nguyen Thanh Huong
Le Thi Hai Ha
Nguyen Thai Quynh Chi
Hill, Peter S.
Walton, Tara
Title Exploring quality of life among the elderly in Hai Duong province, Vietnam: a rural-urban dialogue
Journal name Global Health Action   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1654-9880
Publication date 2012-12-22
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3402/gha.v5i0.18874
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Start page 18874.1
End page 18874.12
Total pages 12
Place of publication Jaerfaella, Sweden
Publisher Co-Action Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Quality of life (QoL) is an important health index for the elderly, necessary for assessing interventions, and prioritising medical and social care needs. As the ageing population in Vietnam continues to increase, understanding important dimensions of QoL for the elderly is essential. There is a paucity of research in this area, however, and the available literature focuses on functional capacities. The  purpose of this article is to explore perceptions on the dimensions of QoL among the elderly in Vietnam, to use these perceptions to broaden the concept, and to explore similarities and differences between those living in urban compared to rural areas.
Method: Qualitative methods included in-depth interviews (IDI) with experts in ageing and elderly persons, as well as focus group discussions (FGDs) in three communes in Hai Duong province. IDIs and FGDs were recorded and transcribed. NVivo software was used to analyse the data.
Results: Thematic analysis identified physical, psychological, social, environmental,  religious, and economic as important dimensions of QoL. For elderly participants in both urban and rural areas, physical health, social relations, finances and economics, the physical and social environment, and psychological health were reported as important. Rural participants also identified religious practice as an important dimension of QoL. In terms of relationships, the elderly in urban areas prioritised  those with their children, while the elderly in rural areas focussed their concerns on community relationships and economic conditions.
Conclusion: Isolating individual factors that contribute to QoL among the elderly is  difficult given the interrelations and rich cross-linkages between themes. Elderly participants in urban and rural areas broadly shared perspectives on the themes identified, in particular social relationships, but their experiences diverged around issues surrounding finances and economics, their respective physical and social environments, and the contribution of religious practice. The study findings may help provide guidance for the development of a socially and culturally relevant instrument for measuring QoL among the elderly in Vietnam. The results will also be useful for developing policies and interventions that are responsive to the needs of the elderly, and reflect the themes perceived to be important.
Keyword quality of life
qualitative study
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Public Health Publications
Official 2013 Collection
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