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Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life in Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Publication Abstract

Jenkins, Kristi R., Amy M. Pienta, and A Horgas. 2002. "Activity and Health-Related Quality of Life in Continuing Care Retirement Communities." Research on Aging, 24(1): 124-149.

This study examines the relationships between health-related quality of life and activity engagement among residents in two continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). Prior research indicates that involvement in activity is an important correlate of healthy aging among other community-dwelling elders, and this finding is expected to hold in CCRCs. Time spent engaged in discretionary activities, specifically active, passive, and outside retirement community activities are expected to be associated with better health-related quality of life across multiple dimensions. Data were collected from 167 independent living and assisted living residents in two CCRCs in a large Midwestern metropolitan area. Activity engagement was measured via a self-report questionnaire. Health-related quality of life was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), which generates eight health subscales (e.g., physical functioning, social functioning, pain). Based on ordinary least squares regression models, the results indicate that discretionary activities, in particular more active types of activity, are positively associated with higher health-related quality of life. These findings have implications for health and activity promotion in CCRCs.

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