Changes in the quality of life of female participants from the University of the Third Age and their predictors
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Introduction Quality of life is identified as a key element in healthy ageing. A decrease in physical activity and fitness levels as well as fear or depression increase the frequency of hospitalisation and mortality rate among elderly persons. Moreover, these factors significantly reduce the quality of life. The aim of the study was to determine changes in elderly women’s perception of their quality of life that occurred over a period of 3 months of attending regular classes. In addition, the study sought to identify factors that would make it possible to predict these changes. Material and methods The study included 56 women aged 58 to 85 (M=69.54; SD=6.578). Their quality of life was assessed with an abbreviated version of WHOQOL -Bref questionnaire. Severity of depressive symptoms was examined with the use of the Geriatric Depression Scale (a 15-item version). In order to determine physical fitness levels, FFF Test was carried out. Results The examined group manifested changes in the depression indicator, i.e. its levels decreased significantly. A considerable increase in self-rated health was observed. There occurred a significant increase in the women’s perception of their quality of life in social and environmental domains. No significant changes in the quality of life were noted in physical and psychological domains as well as in overall satisfaction with the quality of life. Conclusions The findings suggest that attending classes at the UTA may produce benefits in the field of psychological health and life quality, and their scope may depend on the initial state of physical health and physical fitness.
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