[Life satisfaction and its related factors among institutionalized patients at a Hansen's disease sanatorium].Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi 1995; 50(5):939-46NE
We conducted a questionnaire survey on life styles and health status for 293 patients with Hansen's disease. They were admitted to the wards for disabled and physically able patients of Ohshima Seishoen, in Kagawa prefecture, in 1991. This institution is one of Japan's national leprosy sanitarians. We measured patients' life satisfaction with the Delighted-Terrible Scale. In this report, the distribution of life satisfaction and its associated factors were examined for 210(71.7%) respondents. Factors examined were length of treatment, physical health, and social aspects of life at the sanatorium. The major findings were as follows; 1. The patients aged under 60 had lower proportions of being satisfied with life than those aged 60 or older. The proportions of life satisfaction of the 40-59 age group were 17% for men and 22% for women, while for the 60 or older age groups were 33-44% for men and 41-45% for women. The proportions of life satisfaction in the 60 or older age groups were lower than those of community dwelling elderly persons. 2. We examined factors associated with life satisfaction for the respondents aged 60 or older. Dependence on activities of daily living (ADL) was associated with life satisfaction in some ADL items. Care and aid provided by the staff of the sanatorium may modify the relationship between ADL impairment and life satisfaction. For social aspects of life at the sanatorium, both having networks with family members and having resources other than family were associated with life satisfaction. Going out and positively spending their daily lives were associated with life satisfaction, too. These associations were significant for men. Similar patterns of association were observed for women, but were insignificant. This finding suggests that it is important for the health and medical care staff to pay attention to the social aspects of the life of elderly patients with Hansen's disease.