Journal of Gerontological Nursing

CE Article 

Sexuality and Quality of Life

Janice G. Robinson; Anita E. Molzahn

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to explore the relationships between sexual activity and intimacy and quality of life (QOL) of older adults. The authors' research question was “To what extent do age, gender, marital status, health status, education, satisfaction with personal relationships, sexual activity, and satisfaction with intimacy explain older adults’ ratings of QOL?” A secondary analysis was conducted using results from a cross-sectional survey. Data were available from a convenience sample of 426 individuals living in British Columbia, Canada, who volunteered to complete the questionnaire. Instruments included the WHOQOL-100, WHOQOL-OLD, and a demographic data sheet. It was found that the strongest contributors to the variance of overall QOL were satisfaction with personal relationships, followed by health status and sexual activity. Age, gender, marital status, and education were not significant. The implications for gerontological nurses include the need to support personal relationships for older adults, to encourage health promotion, and to ensure sexuality is discussed with older adults.

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to explore the relationships between sexual activity and intimacy and quality of life (QOL) of older adults. The authors' research question was “To what extent do age, gender, marital status, health status, education, satisfaction with personal relationships, sexual activity, and satisfaction with intimacy explain older adults’ ratings of QOL?” A secondary analysis was conducted using results from a cross-sectional survey. Data were available from a convenience sample of 426 individuals living in British Columbia, Canada, who volunteered to complete the questionnaire. Instruments included the WHOQOL-100, WHOQOL-OLD, and a demographic data sheet. It was found that the strongest contributors to the variance of overall QOL were satisfaction with personal relationships, followed by health status and sexual activity. Age, gender, marital status, and education were not significant. The implications for gerontological nurses include the need to support personal relationships for older adults, to encourage health promotion, and to ensure sexuality is discussed with older adults.

Authors

Mrs. Robinson is Clinical Nurse Specialist, Dementia Care, The Lodge at Broadmead, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and Dr. Molzahn is Professor, School of Nursing, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The authors acknowledge the assistance of Rowena McElhinney in data collection and the role of the WHOQOL-OLD Group in designing the primary study.

The authors disclose that they have no significant financial interests in any product or class of products discussed directly or indirectly in this activity, including research support.

Address correspondence to Mrs. Robinson, The Lodge at Broadmead, 4579 Chatterton Way, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8X 4Y7; e-mail: Janice.Robinson@tvcs.ca

10.3928/00989134-20070301-05

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