Meaning-in-life in nursing-home patients: a correlate with physical and emotional symptoms
Version of Record online: 18 DEC 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume 23, Issue 7-8, pages 1030–1043, April 2014
How to Cite
Haugan, G. (2014), Meaning-in-life in nursing-home patients: a correlate with physical and emotional symptoms. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23: 1030–1043. doi: 10.1111/jocn.12282
- Issue online: 10 MAR 2014
- Version of Record online: 18 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 JAN 2013
- meaning and purpose-in-life;
- nursing-home patients;
- quality of life;
Aims and objectives
To investigate the prevalence of physical and emotional symptoms and the associations between symptoms and meaning-in-life in a cognitively intact nursing-home population.
Meaning has been found to be a strong individual predictor of successful ageing and life satisfaction as well as an important psychological variable that promotes well-being. Meaning serves as a mediating variable in both psychological and physical health.
Design and methods
The study employed a cross-sectional design. Data were collected in 2008 and 2009 using the QLQ-C15-PAL quality-of-life questionnaire, the purpose-in-life test and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. A total of 250 cognitively intact nursing-home patients who met the inclusion criteria were approached and 202 attended.
The prevalence of symptoms was fairly high, with fatigue (57%), pain (49%), constipation (43%) and dyspnoea (41%) as the most frequent physical symptoms, while 30% were depressed and 12% had anxiety. Significant correlations between meaning-in-life and symptom severity were displayed.
The level of symptom severity among cognitively intact nursing-home patients is high, requiring highly competent staff nurses. Meaning-in-life might be an important resource in relation to a patient's physical and emotional health and global well-being.
Relevance to clinical practice
Facilitating patients' meaning-in-life might help reducing symptom severity and fostering quality of life in cognitively intact nursing-home patients. However, advancing staff nurses' competence in palliative care, symptom management and nurse–patient interaction is important for care quality and quality if life in nursing homes.