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Examination of the Perceptions of an Elderly Population in Subsidized Housing and Their Utilization of Community-Based Health Care

Beigay, Teresa (2007) Examination of the Perceptions of an Elderly Population in Subsidized Housing and Their Utilization of Community-Based Health Care. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Tremendous growth is projected for the elderly population in the coming decades with regard to size and diversity. This research examined the perspectives of low income well individuals age 60 and older living in congregate subsidized urban housing. It explored how they perceive their communities, their health care practices, and their health and well-being. This inquiry utilized qualitative phenomenological methods, specifically face-to-face indepth interviews. The qualitative approach was supplemented by quantitative data in the form of standardized health-related quality of life measurement. An evaluation component also investigated the reasons residents used or did not use an on-site nursing service.The study noted several noteworthy findings, but the need for social interaction permeated all domains. The participants demonstrated an adherence to regular schedules. More than half felt positive about living in their settings and more than a quarter felt neutral about their living situation. More than four-fifths of participants felt that they were in good health or had minor problems. The majority had usual sources of medical care and visited their physicians regularly. None experienced any difficulty in getting the care they needed. As a group, the participants scored lower on health-related quality of life than national norms in the physical domain and about equal in the mental domain. The on-site nursing service was not effective with this population. Recommendations included conducting a comprehensive needs assessment with the actual service users, i.e., the residents, before instituting any service. Such services may include a variety of models, e.g., nursing, social, system navigation.The public health significance of this inquiry is grounded in public health's more holistic view of health - physical, emotional, social, and community domains - than that of traditional medicine. It is the more inclusive view that will inform the development and institution of housing and health services that are more responsive to the needs of the population, incorporating a variety of services that should better address the needs of an increasingly diverse older population and help to achieve the goals of Healthy People 2010, the first of which is "Increase quality and years of healthy life."


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRohrer, Wesley Mwmrun@pitt.eduWMRUN
Committee MemberRicci, Edmund Memricci@pitt.eduEMRICCI
Committee MemberSilverman, Myrna Awoman@pitt.eduWOMAN
Committee MemberWatzlaf, Valerie J Mvalgeo@pitt.eduVALGEO
Date: 21 June 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 29 March 2007
Approval Date: 21 June 2007
Submission Date: 19 April 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: DrPH - Doctor of Public Health
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: aging; quality of life; self-assessed health; social support; trust; well elderly
Other ID:, etd-04192007-084416
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:39
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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