Gerontology - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Exploring gender differences in the outcome of a self-care intervention to reduce cardiovascular disease risk

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

A multitude of gender differences exist in relation to primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Thus, a gender-based approach to interventions for cardiovascular risk has been identified as the ideal. However, there is a research gap as to what strategies such interventions should include. This investigation explored gender differences in the effectiveness of a cardiovascular risk reduction intervention, the Cardiovascular Health Best Practices Project. The intervention was successful for females but not for males. Gender differences in self-care patterns for physical activity, weight loss, and stress, as well as health care utilization, did not contribute to these findings. Future research should identify which strategies were effective for females as well as explore strategies for risk reduction among males, and future intervention analyses should assess outcome by gender.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
A
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

The role of the social and physical environments in informal social interaction among people with dementia residing in special care units

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study was to explore the nature of informal social interaction among people with dementia residing in special care units and to provide insight into the role of the social and physical environments in facilitating or hindering these spontaneous interactions. An ethnographic approach was used including in-depth interviews with staff members and resident observations. Findings revealed that residents within special care units engage in several types of informal social interactions including: 1) active verbal communications, 2) brief verbal communications, 3) touching, 4) gesture, 5) glancing, 6) attention seeking, and 7) other non-verbal communication. This study also found that social environmental factors such as staff work roles and resident group size as well as physical environmental features such as the presence of multiple sightlines, transitions spaces, low noise levels, and the nursing station location play a crucial role in influencing informal social interaction within a dementia care setting.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
H
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Exploring the quality of life of younger residents living in residential care facilities

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the characteristics of the quality of life of younger residents in residential care facilities, and to gain an understanding of the important factors that contribute to their quality of life. Multiple methods were employed to collect data, including younger resident in-depth interviews, focus groups with staff members, and interviews with a member from the management team at two residential care facilities in British Columbia, Canada. The data analysis revealed four main themes, each containing a number of specific codes: (1) A New Chapter in life; (2) Experiencing Quality of Life; (3) Staying Engaged and (4) Social Life. These themes outline the characteristics of the younger residents’ quality of life and the important factors that contribute to it. The results are beneficial for understanding younger resident quality of life needs and providing person centred care that is appropriate for this population.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
H
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

A comparison of intimate partner violence in mid-and-old age: is elder abuse simply a case of spousal abuse grown old?

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

The study used a national pooled dataset from the 1999 and 2004 Canadian General Social Surveys (GSS) to compare spousal abuse between mid-age adults (45-59 years) and older adults (>60 years). Two types of abuse: emotional/financial and physical/sexual are investigated. Three regression models on personal, relationship and environmental explanatory factors are examined to determine salient predictors of spousal abuse for each age group. Both similarities and differences were uncovered across the age groups. In general, the differences reflect the complexities of an aging population indicating the importance of social network, such as participation in social activities and community size. In addition, disability status and spousal drinking habits for both age groups were found to be associated with abuse. This study is first of its kind to examine spousal abuse among younger and older populations on the national level. The findings have implications for intervention programs for abused victims.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
D
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Psychological resilience in spousal caregivers of memory clinic patients with Alzheimer disease

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Faced with comparable demands, some caregivers of persons with Alzheimer disease (AD) become overwhelmed early in the course of the illness while others cope for many years under remarkable stress. Psychological resilience may enable clinicians to identify caregivers at risk for stress-induced psychopathology. The current study examined the three facets of psychological resilience (i.e., commitment to living, challenge, perceived control) relative to the well-being of a sample of cohabitating, community-residing spousal caregivers of persons with AD using hierarchical regression. The sample was recruited from a tertiary diagnostic clinic over a period of 21 months (N = 130). Challenge and perceived control were inversely associated with depressive symptoms. Perceived control was also significantly related to caregiver burden. None of the psychological resilience constructs uniquely contributed to the prediction of life satisfaction. These findings provide partial support for the hypothesized association between psychological well-being and caregiver well-being indices.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
N
Department: 
Dept. of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Representation agreements in British Columbia: who is using them and why?

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Despite the passage of BC’s Representation Agreement Act in 2000, there have been no studies conducted to date to determine who is using these agreements and why. Three groups of individuals were interviewed: capable representation agreement holders (n=48), representatives of capable agreement holders (n=38), and representatives of agreement holders no longer capable (n=7). Study participants differed from the general population of seniors in BC in terms of income and education but were similar to those using advance care planning tools in the United States. The data revealed interesting gender differences suggesting that men and women may enter into agreements for different reasons and have dissimilar expectations of how their wishes are to be carried out. Overall, this sample of representation agreement holders felt the agreements are a good idea and a means of ensuring their wishes are followed should they become incapable of making their own health care decisions.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gloria Gutman
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)

Exploring the health needs of older lesbians and gay men in Metro Vancouver

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Gerontological research examining the lives of older lesbian and gay adults is limited. The unique health needs of this sub-population remains unclear. This research addresses this gap by exploring the following research questions: 1) What are the specific health needs of older lesbian and gay adults? 2) How are the specific needs of older lesbian and gay adults unmet? and 3) How can healthcare agencies better address the needs of older lesbian and gay adults? This study is guided by a feminist/queer perspective synthesized with an ecological framework. In depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 17 individuals aged 50+ who reside in Metro Vancouver. Participants self-identified as either lesbian or gay and reported at least one chronic health condition. The findings of this research can be used to increase equitable health service delivery, inform policy development and resource allocation, as well as provide a foundation for critical health research.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
B
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

The effects of care facility environments on personhood in dementia at the end of life

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This qualitative study explored the role of two care facility environments on personhood at the end of life for residents living with advanced dementia. This study was grounded in the literature on end of life care and dementia, discourses on personhood and the concept of creating a therapeutic environment for those with dementia. Data were generated through ethnographic observations of twelve residents with advanced dementia, interviews with thirteen of their formal carers and a secondary data/archival analysis of relevant organizational policies. Data analysis revealed that the immediate resident-carer encounter (doing-to and being-with) significantly affected personhood at the end of life. In addition, carers’ understanding of personhood, end of life and person-centred care contributed to the challenge in the practical application of these concepts to caring for persons with advanced dementia. Further, elements within the work environment context itself also affected personhood at the end of life.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
H
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

A comparative analysis of Internet health information use between Canadian baby boomers and older adults

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This thesis will compare age differences of Internet use and Internet health information use between Canadian baby boomers and older adults. Specifically, it will examine current patterns relating to Internet use for the purpose of accessing health information, comparing baby boom aged persons with those in older age groups. Using the 2005 Canadian Internet Use Survey and the 2000 General Social Survey, patterns related to Internet use and Internet health information use will be explored, including: access, frequency, location, types of health searches performed and health sites visited, barriers to Internet use, privacy concerns about using the Internet, and a selection of demographic and socio-economic factors. Significantly higher rates of Internet use and accessing health information on the Internet were found for the baby boomers compared to older adults. A number of different predictors were uncovered for the various age group comparisons. Theoretical implications and policy recommendations are also discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
A
Department: 
Department of Gerontology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

The dining experience of residents with dementia in long-term care facilities

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This qualitative study aimed to explore the dining experience of residents with dementia in long-term care facilities, with a focus on the psychosocial aspect of their experiences. Data were collected by multiple methods, including participant observation and conversational interviews with residents with dementia, focus groups with staff, and examination of documents at two urban facilities in British Columbia, Canada. Data analysis revealed eight themes: (1) Outpacing/ Relaxed pace, (2) Withholding/ Holding, (3) Stimulation, (4) Disrespect/ Respect, (5) Invalidation/ Validation, (6) Distancing/ Connecting, (7) Disempowerment/ Empowerment, and (8) Ignoring/ Inclusion. These themes provide a clear set of factors that affect the quality of residents' experiences and offer insights into the processes of how multiple factors influence the residents' experiences in complex ways. The results suggest that although staff approaches significantly impact residents' experiences, the physical environment and organizational milieu are also responsible for hindering and facilitating staff to provide care.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Habib Chaudhury
Department: 
Out of date: Gerontology Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)