RESEARCH PAPER
Differences in the quality of life dependent on family status of the elderly living in rural areas – a cross-sectional survey
 
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1
Department of Basic Nursing and Medical Teaching, Chair of Development in Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
2
Department of Foreign Languages, I Faculty of Medicine with Dentistry Division, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
3
Department of Physiotherapy, University of Management and Administration, Zamosc, Poland
4
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, State Higher Vocational School Memorial of Prof. Stanisław Tarnowski, Tarnobrzeg, Poland
5
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Economics and Innovation, Lublin, Poland
6
Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2018;25(3):532–538
KEYWORDS:
TOPICS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction:
A factor that conditions the perception of the quality of life (QoL) is having a social network and relationships within it. The quality of life of seniors is assumed to be at a higher level if they are surrounded by those close to them in comparison to those living alone. The aim of the study was to assess differences in the quality of life of elderly rural residents depending on their family status.

Material and methods:
Due to the random and mixed selection of respondents, the study comprised a group of 588 representatives living in rural areas of Eastern Poland. The differentiated criterion of the groups of senior respondents was their family situation: living with a family or living alone. Assessment of the quality of life was conducted by means of the WHOQoL-bref questionnaire. The Mann-Whitney tests and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to carry out statistical analysis of the data.

Results:
The respondents who lived with their families differed statistically to a significant extent (p<0.005) from those who lived alone. The former gave a better assessment of the majority of the QoL domains: physical, psychological and social. Obtaining higher mean values for the environmental domain among the respondents living alone (M=14.31) seemed to be an atypical and interesting phenomenon because seniors living with their relatives usually assessed that dimension better than those living alone.

Conclusions:
The family situation of seniors affected the level of quality of life. Living with their relatives may be expected to be favourable for seniors because it translates into better performance in physical, psychological and social domains. Loneliness, which frequently accompanies old age, leads to the deterioration of the quality of life.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Paweł Chruściel   
Department of Basic Nursing and Medical Teaching, Chair of Development in Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland, Medical University of Lublin, Department of Basic Nursing and Medical Teaching, Chair of Development in Nursing, 4/6 Staszica St., 20-093 Lublin, Poland
 
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