Life satisfaction and associated factors among people aged 60 years and above in six European countries

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Cecilia Fagerström, Christel Borg, Cristian Balducci, Vanessa Burholt, Clare G. Wenger, Dieter Ferring, Germain Weber, Göran Holst, Ingalill R Hallberg
Title: Life satisfaction and associated factors among people aged 60 years and above in six European countries
Journal: Applied Research in Quality of Life
Year: 2007
Volume: 2
Pagination: 33-50
ISSN: 1871-2576
Publisher: Springer
URI/DOI: DOI 10.1007/s11482-007-9028-0
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Health Science (Sektionen för hälsa)
School of Health Science S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:
Language: English
Abstract: Life satisfaction is a concept frequently used to measure wellbeing of older people. However, there is still a lack of cross-national comparative research investigating factors associated with life satisfaction. There may be unique and common factors associated with life satisfaction across European countries. This study aimed to investigate life satisfaction among people aged 60–89 years in six European countries in relation to health problems, ADL capacity, self-esteem, social and financial resources. A cross-sectional study was performed, including 7699 people aged 60–89 years, in Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Austria and Italy, participating in the European Study of Adult Wellbeing, using questions from the Older Americans Resources and Services schedule, Multidimensional Functional Assessment Questionnaire, Life Satisfaction Index Z and Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine factors associated with life satisfaction in the six national samples. In cases where people were less satisfied with their life it was fairly satisfactory and unsatisfactory social contacts (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.5–13.8), poor financial resources (OR 1.7–15.1), feeling greatly hindered by health problems (OR 2.2–5.4) and self-esteem (OR 2.1–5.1) rather than the ability to perform activities of daily living and the extent of social contacts that gave the greatest risk of low life satisfaction in all the six European countries. There were both common and country-specific factors important for life satisfaction in the six European countries. However, the importance of satisfactory social contacts, financial resources, self-esteem and feeling hindered by health problems seems universal in the six included countries and thus important to target in preventive interventions.
Subject: Nursing & Caring Sciences\General
Keywords: Cross-national, Feeling hindered by health problems, Life satisfaction, Older people, Self-esteem, Social contacts