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Authors

  1. Tak, Sunghee H.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Elders living with arthritis perceive chronic daily stress associated with a loss of function. Daily stress has a significant effect on the prediction of depression and decreased life satisfaction in older persons. However, little is known about the nature of the daily stress and coping process from their personal viewpoint.

 

PURPOSE: This study explores stressors in daily life, coping strategies, and social support resources from the perspective of older adults with arthritis.

 

METHODS: Thirteen older adults with arthritis participated in semistructured, individual interviews. Content analysis of the interview transcriptions was used.

 

FINDINGS: Results revealed six sources of stress in the daily life of the participants: health, routine tasks, family issues, financial management, social relationships, and living conditions. Three major strategies of coping with daily stress emerged: cognitive efforts, diversional activities, and assertive actions. Participants reported a wide range of support resources to deal with daily stress.

 

CONCLUSION: Recommendations for health professionals in assisting clients to minimize the impact of daily stress on mental health by assessing the sources of stress, improving cognitive-behavioral coping techniques, and locating resources are given.