• health;
  • life control;
  • life control and health in view of qualitative and quantitative research;
  • life control;
  • qualitative and quantitative research

Häggman-Laitila A, Pietilä A.-M. International Journal of Nursing Practice 1998; 4: 103–112

Life control and health in view of qualitative and quantitative research

In this paper the experiences of life control and health of Finnish people are described and compared by reference to two studies with different methodologies. The goal of the qualitative study was to describe and understand the human being’s health as an individual way of existence on the basis of life descriptions. The qualitative data were gathered through thematic interviews (n=60, men and women, aged 30–50 years). The data were analyzed with the grounded theory method. The analysis showed life control to be a core category that characterizes health experiences. On the basis of the analysis, the content of concept of life control was defined to describe the data. The goal of the quantitative study was to produce information on life control among young males, their health, health behaviour, experiences of stress and life situations as well as the associations between these dimensions. The definition of life control was based on Antonovsky’s theory of sense of coherence and on the study of Söderqvist and Bäckman1. The quantitative data were gathered with questionnaires from 2500 men (response rate 60%). The data were processed using cross-tabulation and multivariate data analysis (discriminant analysis).

The connections between life control and health were obvious in both studies. To a certain extent the results were parallel, but there were also some differences which are discussed here as a starting point for developing further the research on life control and health in the nursing science context.