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Health-related quality of life among older adults who experienced the Pohang earthquake in South Korea: A cross-sectional survey

 Eun-Mi Kim  ;  Gwang Suk Kim  ;  Heejung Kim  ;  Chang Gi Park  ;  Ogcheol Lee  ;  Betty Pfefferbaum 
 HEALTH AND QUALITY OF LIFE OUTCOMES, Vol.20(1) : 37, 2022-03 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Aged ; Aged, 80 and over ; Cross-Sectional Studies ; Disasters* ; Earthquakes* ; Humans ; Quality of Life / psychology ; Republic of Korea / epidemiology ; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / epidemiology ; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / psychology ; Surveys and Questionnaires
Community integration ; Depression ; Disasters ; Earthquakes ; Older adults ; Quality of life ; Social support
Background: Earthquakes are global natural disasters and can cause loss of property, livelihood and affect human health. A 5.4 magnitude earthquake, the Pohang earthquake, occurred in South Korea in 2017. In this study, based on a health-related quality of life (HRQOL) conceptual model, we examined the HRQOL and its associated factors among older adults who had experienced the earthquake.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with a quota sample of 312 older adults living in eight villages of a district that was the most damaged area during the Pohang earthquake. Data were collected from January 15-March 19, 2019, via face-to-face interviews using structured questionnaires. Structural equation modeling was performed to explore the associations among depression, posttraumatic stress symptoms, community resilience, social support, disaster preparedness, and HRQOL.

Results: The mean age of the participants was 77.93 ± 6.11 years. HRQOL scores were 49.85 ± 18.07 (physical health), 50.16 ± 18.75 (psychological health), 61.93 ± 19.20 (social relations), and 49.53 ± 16.37 (environment). The structural equation modeling analysis showed a good fit. Depression had direct (β = - 2.21; p < 0.001), indirect (β =- 0.23; p < 0.001), and total effects on HRQOL (β = - 2.44; p < 0.001). Community resilience (β = 6.05; p = 0.001) and social support (β = 0.12, p = 0.001) had direct and total effects on HRQOL. Disaster preparedness had indirect (β = 0.40; p = 0.001) and total (β = 0.69, p = 0.031) effects on HRQOL. In contrast, posttraumatic stress symptoms did not have significant effects on HRQOL.

Conclusions: Our findings indicated that lower depression, higher community resilience, social support, and disaster preparedness were associated with increased HRQOL. Thus, it is helpful to decrease depression and strengthen community resilience, social support, and disaster preparedness to promote HRQOL among older adults who have experienced earthquakes. These results can inform the development of HRQOL in socio-psychological improvement programs for older adults in community health centers and disaster-relief psychological support centers.
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3. College of Nursing (간호대학) > Dept. of Nursing (간호학과) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Gwang Suk(김광숙) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9823-6107
Kim, Heejung(김희정) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3719-0111
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