Journal of Gerontological Nursing

Feature Article 

Spirituality in Later Life: Effect on Quality of Life

Anita E. Molzahn, PhD, MN, BSN, RN

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of spirituality on quality of life (QOL) in older adults when age, gender, social support, and health status are controlled. A secondary analysis of data was conducted using results from a cross-sectional survey of older adults. Data were available from a convenience sample of 426 people living in British Columbia, Canada, who volunteered to complete the questionnaire. Instruments included the WHOQOL-100 and a demographic data sheet. The results show spirituality was not a significant factor contributing to QOL in this sample, and that the strongest predictors of overall QOL were social support and health satisfaction. Given difficulties in measuring spirituality and homogeneity of the sample, further research is warranted.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of spirituality on quality of life (QOL) in older adults when age, gender, social support, and health status are controlled. A secondary analysis of data was conducted using results from a cross-sectional survey of older adults. Data were available from a convenience sample of 426 people living in British Columbia, Canada, who volunteered to complete the questionnaire. Instruments included the WHOQOL-100 and a demographic data sheet. The results show spirituality was not a significant factor contributing to QOL in this sample, and that the strongest predictors of overall QOL were social support and health satisfaction. Given difficulties in measuring spirituality and homogeneity of the sample, further research is warranted.

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of spirituality on quality of life (QOL) in older adults when age, gender, social support, and health status are controlled. A secondary analysis of data was conducted using results from a cross-sectional survey of older adults. Data were available from a convenience sample of 426 people living in British Columbia, Canada, who volunteered to complete the questionnaire. Instruments included the WHOQOL-100 and a demographic data sheet. The results show spirituality was not a significant factor contributing to QOL in this sample, and that the strongest predictors of overall QOL were social support and health satisfaction. Given difficulties in measuring spirituality and homogeneity of the sample, further research is warranted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Molzahn is Professor, School of Nursing, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The author wishes to acknowledge the support of this research through a Faculty Fellowship in the Centre for Studies of Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, and funding from the University of Victoria Internal SSHRC competition.

The author also wishes to thank Rowena McElhinney, Janice Robinson, and Gail Low, who served as research assistants for the project. The contributions of the WHOQOL-OLD Group in the design and planning for data collection for the primary project are gratefully acknowledged.

Address correspondence to Anita E. Molzahn, PhD, MN, BSN, RN, Professor, School of Nursing, PO Box 1700, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, V8W 2Y2; e-mail: amolzahn@uvic.ca.

Authors

Dr. Molzahn is Professor, School of Nursing, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The author wishes to acknowledge the support of this research through a Faculty Fellowship in the Centre for Studies of Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, and funding from the University of Victoria Internal SSHRC competition.

The author also wishes to thank Rowena McElhinney, Janice Robinson, and Gail Low, who served as research assistants for the project. The contributions of the WHOQOL-OLD Group in the design and planning for data collection for the primary project are gratefully acknowledged.

Address correspondence to Anita E. Molzahn, PhD, MN, BSN, RN, Professor, School of Nursing, PO Box 1700, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, V8W 2Y2; e-mail: amolzahn@uvic.ca.

10.3928/00989134-20070101-07

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