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

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Nutrition and cardiovascular risk among mid-life adults: the role of self-efficacy

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The process of aging can bring forth health-related challenges, specifically an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This thesis examines the effect of self-efficacy on changes in nutrition behaviour in an intervention aimed at reducing cardiovascular risk in mid-life persons (aged 45-64). The construct of self-efficacy refers to beliefs in our capabilities to undertake the actions necessary to produce a given goal. This psychological construct has shown to be a mediator between various determinants of health and subsequent health behaviour. Social Cognitive Theory lays the groundwork for examining self-efficacy. Undertaking a secondary data analysis of the Cardiovascular Health Best Practice Project, this study examines self-efficacy in both a general health and nutrition health context. Results show that nutrition self-efficacy, income, mutual aid, and family physician visits play a role in changing nutrition behaviour over time, contributing to the understanding and development of research and nutrition health promotion programs for this population.

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Out of date: Gerontology Program - Simon Fraser University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

How does neighbourhood environment affect physical activity in later life? An exploratory case study of two North Vancouver neighbourhoods

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This case study explores environmental influences on the physical activity of older adults (age 60 and over) in two neighbourhoods. The concept of social capital – the resources available through one’s social networks – is used to explore social factors that affect physical activity in later life. A conceptual framework was developed to map relationships among key study concepts. Research methods included neighbourhood environmental audits, focus groups, and activity diaries. Findings confirmed neighbourhood differences in physical features hypothesized to impact physical activity. Neighbourhood physical and social factors identified as supports and barriers by participants themselves also differed. Moreover, one neighbourhood was found to be more supportive of walking for transport while the other was more supportive of recreational forms of physical activity. Individual participants differed in access to social capital from neighbourhood and personal networks. Relevant planning issues are discussed as they relate to physical activity promotion in later life.

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

Predictors of suicide-related ideation among older adults: exploring the role of impulsivity

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Research has demonstrated that impulsivity is strongly associated with suicide-related ideation and behaviour among young adults. To date, however, the potential importance of impulsivity as a predictor of suicide-related ideation in later life has yet to be determined. The current study set out to examine impulsivity, hopelessness, depressive symptomatology and socio-demographic factors vis-à-vis suicide-related ideation among a sample of older adults using both hierarchical regression and canonical correlation. A national sample was recruited from multiple sources for this study over a 1-year period (N = 117). Canonical correlation analysis showed that the impulse to self-harm may be more pronounced among older adults less likely to present as typically depressed. The findings of this study further suggest that impulsivity is more broadly associated with suicide-related ideation than hopelessness, and that screening for impulsivity as well as hopelessness may increase clinicians’ ability to identify older adults at greatest risk for self-harm.

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

Health differentials among elderly women: A rural - urban analysis

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the influence and interrelations of socio-economic, regional and social factors on elderly women's health from a life course perspective, integrating the concept of "social capital." A sample of 8,684 women aged 65+ is drawn from the master files of the 2001 Canadian Community Health Survey. Using logistic regression, analyses indicate elderly rural women are more likely to report having any chronic condition, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, compared to elderly urban women, after controlling for socio-economic status, social capital and lifestyle. However, while community integration (a form of social capital associated with better health) is often stronger in rural communities, no rural advantage for subjective health is observed. Separate analyses of rural and urban sub-samples of elderly women also reveal a number of striking differences in the factors associated with subjective and objective health outcomes. Findings are discussed with regard to implications for policy and future research.

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

Lifestyle acculturation and health among older foreign-born persons

Author: 
Date created: 
2003
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Gerontology Program) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

A study of age differences in accident rates at intersections in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2003
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Gerontology Program) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

An evaluation of crash risk among older drivers with restricted licenses in British Columbia

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Aging is associated with declines that affect driving ability, but loss of a driver’s license has negative impacts on the well-being of older adults. In keeping with Person-Environment Fit Models, restricted licenses are sometimes used to allow continued driving under conditions that do not exceed abilities. This cohort study of older drivers used provincial insurance claims data to compare crashes caused by drivers with restricted versus unrestricted licenses. Restricted drivers were more likely to be male, older, and involved in prior at-fault crashes. Results demonstrated that restricted drivers caused more crashes before restrictions than after the restrictions were applied. Cox survival analysis also revealed that restricted drivers continued to drive crash-free for longer compared to unrestricted drivers, and their risk of causing a crash was 87% that of the unrestricted drivers. These findings have important implications for driver licensing policies, and for the health and well-being of an aging population.

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

The influence of care provider access to structural empowerment on individualized care in long term care facilities

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the relationship between care provider access to structural empowerment and the provision of individualized care in long-term care (LTC) facilities. Structural equation models (SEM) were computed to examine the relationship between access to empowerment structures (i.e., informal power, formal power, information, support, resources, and opportunity structures) and the provision of individualized care by RNs/LPNs (n = 242) and care aides (n = 326) recruited from three British Columbia health regions. Invariance analyses were subsequently undertaken to compare SEM models between groups. Access to structural empowerment had a statistically significant, positive effect on the provision of individualized care for both groups (though not statistically different between groups). Findings from this study suggest that improving the provision of individualized care in LTC facilities can be enhanced when RNs, LPNs, and care aides have appreciable access to empowerment structures.

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

Modifications to the hospital physical environment: Effect on older adults’ retention of post-discharge instructions

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This study was conducted in two (originally identical) hospital bedrooms in a community hospital in Burnaby, British Columbia. For the study, one patient room was left in its original state; the second was modified to reduce visual and auditory distraction. In each room, older adults watched a video recording of different post-discharge instructions. After each viewing, and after approximately 24 hours, their learning/retention was tested. While in each room, video equipment and other non-invasive technology recorded physical movements/fidgeting. A significant interaction was found between room type, instruction type and order. Subsequent analyses found that the oldest participants had the most difficulty when faced with learning more difficult instructions in the “Typical” room. Movement/fidget data suggest that participants were less stressed while receiving instruction in the modified room rather than “typical” room. Participants overwhelmingly preferred the modified room and expressed comfort with the use of video to receive post-discharge instruction.

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