Mental Health and Old Age: A Qualitative Study in Iranian Population VC05-VC08
Dr. Morteza Khaghanizade,
Associate Professor, Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran
Introduction: Health, which usually declines with age, is one of the determinants of quality of life. Mental health disorder is one of the most common health-threatening problems of older age.
Aim: The present qualitative study was conducted with the aim to identify factors that affect the mental health of elderly population.
Materials and Methods: This study was a qualitative study with content analysis approach, conducted on the elderly Iranians in Tehran. Purposive sampling method was used to select 15 elderly Iranians. Semi-structured and in-depth interviews were carried out with 15 elderly Iranians in the parks and homes in 2015. To analyze the data, the content of interviews was typed and entered into MAXQDA software. This software was also used to code the data. The interview began with a main question about their experiences of everyday life, and then, exploratory questions to encourage the participants and access to deeper information were required.
Results: Two themes of “interaction” and “worthiness”, 5 main categories (communication/relationship, empathy/compassion, entertainment/amusement, support and respect), and 15 sub-categories (interpersonal communication, communication with others, communication with God, talking to people, being consulted, being employed, studying and learning, using the media, going to park, family support, social support, social respect, family respect, respect for personal space, and respect for beliefs) were extracted from the data.
Conclusion: The results of this study encourage healthcare providers to identify the factors that influence the sense of worthiness in elderly by keeping continuous contact with them and taking advantage of the unique opportunity they have to interact with them and influence their belief. By designing educational programs, mental disorders can be prevented, that this population may develop.