• gerontological nursing;
  • elderly;
  • health;
  • ADL;
  • quality of life;
  • self-esteem;
  • meaning in life;
  • well-being

Quality of life in old age described as a sense of well-being, meaning and value

The purpose of the study was to present a model of quality of life and related factors, to study quality of life in a group of elderly subjects, and to do preliminary testing of the model. Quality of life was defined as a sense of well-being, meaning and value. The model includes health, functional capacity, and coping mechanisms as intra-individual conditions for quality of life, while factors in the biophysical and sociocultural environment are described as external conditions. The study sample consisted of 300 subjects, aged 75 or older and living in Finland. Data were gathered by means of structured personal interviews. The participants’ quality of life was generally quite good. The correlations among the variables related to quality of life were significant, but the results of the regression analyses showed that the individual aspects of quality of life did not have identical explanatory models. The internal consistency of the instruments was good. The results give preliminary support to the model, but in future studies more attention must be paid to the conceptual and theoretical validity. In order to achieve results that can be applied in gerontological nursing practice, different groups and contexts must be investigated.