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Health and Happiness for Elderly Institutionalized Canadians

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2010

Cheryl A. Cott
University of Toronto
Mary T. Fox
University of Toronto


This study explored the determinants of self-rated health and happiness for elderly, institutionalized Canadians in the 1994/95 National Population Health Survey: Health Institutions. Separate ordinal logistic regression models were developed for self-rated health and happiness in a subsample of 780 elderly residents. The results indicate that older Canadians in institutions vary in their ratings of their health and happiness, and that demographic characteristics, illness-related factors, disability and social integration predict these variations. Both self-rated good health and happiness were consistently associated with being older, having fewer chronic diseases, fewer perceived memory difficulties and less pain. Whereas good health was associated with higher education and independence in ambulation, happiness was associated with greater grasping ability, more frequent attendance at group activities in the institution and the community and having a flexible schedule. These findings have important implications since many of the factors identified are potentially modifiable through rehabilitative and nursing interventions.


Cette étude explore les facteurs déterminants de l'autoévaluation de la santé et du bonheur chez les aîné(e)s vivant en établissement d'après l'Enquête nationale sur la santé de la population de 1994/95. On a établi des modèles distincts de régression de logistique ordinale pour l'autoévaluation de la santé et du bonheur dans un sous-échantillonnage de 780 aîné(e)s vivant en établissement. Les résultats indiquent que les aîné(e)s canadien(ne)s vivant en établissement évaluent leur santé et leur bonheur à divers degrés et que l'on peut prédire les variations en fonction des caractéristiques démographiques, des facteurs de maladie, de l'invalidité et de l'intégration sociale. Une évaluation positive de la santé et du bonheur est toujours associée à un plus grand âge, à un degré réduit de maladie chronique, à un faible degré perçu de difficultés de mémoire et à moins de douleur. Alors que la bonne santé se joint à un plus grand degré d'instruction et de liberté de déplacement, le bonheur se relie à un meilleur réflexe d'agrippement, à une plus forte fréquentation des activités communes de l'établissement et de la communauté et à un horaire plus flexible. Ces résultats entraînent des conséquences importantes puisque plusieurs des facteurs relevés peuvent être modifiés par des programmes de rééducation ou des interventions infirmières.

Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2001

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