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Elderly man walking in a park.

Doctoral defence of Chonticha Chantakeeree, MSc, 19 Aug 2022: Urban–rural disparities in health-promoting behaviours and quality of life among older Thai adults

The doctoral dissertation in the field of Nursing Science will be examined at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Kuopio campus. The public examination will be streamed online.

What is the topic of your dissertation? Why is it important to study the topic?

My dissertation focuses on health-promoting behaviours and quality of life among older adults with hypertension living in urban and rural areas. Hypertension has become the most common chronic disease among older adults, leading to declined functional capacity and contributing to other disease burdens that have a significant influence on older adults’ quality of life and impose serious economic and service loads on public health systems. Health-promoting behaviours are strongly recommended for hypertensive older adults, as they maintain health and improve quality of life. However, few studies have examined the differences in health-promoting behaviours and quality of life in older Thai adults with hypertension between urban and rural groups. Since the health of older adults can vary according to several factors, an understanding of the factors associated with health promotion that contribute to well-being in older adults is necessary.

What are the main results or findings of your dissertation?

The study provides new knowledge on factors associated with health-promoting behaviours and quality of life of older adults. Based on the findings, older adults in urban areas engaged more in health-promoting behaviours and had a better quality of life than their rural peers. Health-promoting behaviours can play an important role in increasing quality of life for all residents. In addition, people with a positive perceived self-efficacy and adequate income are more likely to perform healthy behaviours. Perceptions of older adults on their health-promoting behaviours and quality of life appeared to be similar, though minor differences were found. Urban older adults with comorbidities and poorer self-perceptions of health had a lower quality of life compared with those who did not suffer from multiple chronic diseases, whereas rural older adults with longer durations of hypertension had a higher quality of life than those with a shorter duration of the disease.

How can the results of your dissertation be put into practice?

The study provides an overview of key factors that affect health-promoting behaviours and are relevant to an individual's quality of life among older adults with hypertension based on different residential areas. This information would be useful for healthcare providers to create effective health interventions or policies that promote health and well-being in older populations according to their needs and cultural context.

What are the key research methods and materials for your dissertation?

This study was conducted using a mixed methods study, which combined both quantitative and qualitative approaches, featured simultaneous collection and analysis of two separate data sets, and merged the two data sets via the integration and comparison of the results. Quantitative data were collected in a cross-sectional design from 420 older adults to compare health-promoting behaviours and quality of life and their associated factors among urban and rural older adults. Concurrently, qualitative data collection via semi-structured interviews was conducted with 40 older adults in urban and rural communities to describe older adults’ experiences of health-promoting behaviours and quality of life.

The doctoral dissertation of Chonticha Chantakeeree, MSc, entitled Health-promoting behaviours and quality of life among urban and rural older Thai adults with hypertension: A mixed methods study, will be examined at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The opponent will be Professor Riitta Suhonen from the University of Turku and the custos will be Professor Hannele Turunen from the University of Eastern Finland. The public examination will be held in English.

Public examination online

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Doctoral dissertation online