Journal article review: Active engagement and quality of life for assisted-living older adults
Relationships among active engagement in life
activities and quality of life for assisted-living residents –
reviewed by Sarah Mallinson, Research Assistant, Faculty of Health
and Life Sciences, York St John University
Associate Professor Beverley Horowitz, from York College-CUNY in
New York, and Professor Elizabeth Vanner, from Stony Brook
University in New York, conducted a cross-sectional study to
explore the relationships between quality of life (including mental
and physical health) and active engagement in life activities
(leisure, social, and instrumental activities of daily living) for
assisted-living older adults. The researchers sought to
- The types of social, instrumental and leisure activities
engaged in by residents in assisted living facilities.
- Relationships between perceived importance of the activity and
continuance of participation.
- Relationships between retained participation in life activities
and quality of life and life satisfaction.
Individual interviews were conducted with 131 (77 female; 52
male) residents from 12 assisted living facilities in Long Island
and New York City. Eligible residents were at least 65 years old (M
age = 83.1; s = 7.2 years), English-speaking, ambulatory, and able
to independently schedule and participate in a 45-60 minute
interview. Interviews were conducted between 2004 and 2007 and
consisted of the 55-item Activity Checklist, a modification of the
Activity Card Sort, to assess involvement and participation in
instrumental, social and leisure activities in the past and present
(Baum, Everard, Fisher, & Lach, 2000), the SF-36v2 to assess
quality of life (Ware, Kosinski & Dewey, 2000) and the Life
Satisfaction Index-Z Scale to measure psychological health and
individual perceptions of psychological well-being (Wood, Wylie
& Sheafor, 1969). Demographic questions concluded the interview
and included items on gender, age, marital status, living
arrangement, religion, ethnicity, and years of schooling.
Results demonstrated significant, low to moderate Spearman
correlations between retained engagement in life activities
(leisure, social and instrumental activities of daily living) and
life satisfaction and several quality of life domains (physical
functioning, role-physical and mental health). This validates a
positive association between emotional well-being and continuance
of participation in daily life activity and suggests that there may
be other mediating variables to explore with regards these
relationships (e.g., social support). Results also demonstrated
that residents had greater continued participation in the life
activities that they deemed of greatest importance.
Based on the findings and the numerous challenges associated
with both the increase number of ‘well’ independent elders choosing
to relocate from home to assisted living environments (p.143) and
caring for the oldest old (p. 146), the researchers proposed the
- Client-centred activity programs can be used to promote
participation of residents (in assisted living facilities) in
diverse physical, social, and cognitive activities to both maintain
resident functional abilities and manage functional decline.
The researchers discussed the limitations of the use of a
convenience sample and the confines of the exploratory, non-random,
cross-sectional nature of the study.
If you would like to find out more about this study, the full
article is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Housing for
the Elderly, April 2010 and Beverley Horowitz is listed as the
corresponding author (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you wish to read the full article the reference is:
Horowitz, B., & Vanner, E. (2010). Relationships among
active engagement in life activities and quality of life, for
assisted-living residents. Journal of Housing for the Elderly,