Stress, lifestyle, and quality of life in midlife and older Australian women: results from the stress and the health of women study

Seib, Charrlotte and Whiteside, Eliza and Lee, Kathryn and Humphreys, Janice and Dao Tran, Tiet Hanh and Chopin, Lisa and Anderson, Debra (2014) Stress, lifestyle, and quality of life in midlife and older Australian women: results from the stress and the health of women study. Women's Health Issues, 24 (1). e43-e52. ISSN 1049-3867

Abstract

Background: Chronic psychological stress may pose a serious threat to health, although the mechanisms are not fully understood. This study examines the impact of stress on modifiable lifestyle factors, depressive symptoms, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and chronic illness in older Australian women.
Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected from a random sample of 181 older adults aged 60 to 70years from rural and urban areas of South-East Queensland, Australia. We used structural equation modelling to examine associations between stress, modifiable lifestyle factors, HRQOL, and chronic illness.
Findings: Parameter estimates show that older women who reported life stressors where they felt helpless and feared for their life (high-magnitude stressors) also reported higher body mass index (p=.03) and more chronic illness (p<.01). In contrast, duration of exposure to life stressors was associated with higher depressive symptom scores (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; p=.02) and sleep disturbance scores (p<.01).
Conclusions: Our findings support the link between traumatic personal histories (exposure to high-magnitude stressors) and unhealthy lifestyle factors. Findings highlight the need for more research on how stress reduction, a healthy lifestyle, and positive coping strategies can be used to reduce the effects of high-magnitude stress on HRQOL and chronic illness.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 26320
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2014 by the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2014 01:53
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2015 05:26
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia; chronic disease; cross-sectional studies; depression; female; follow-up studies; health status; health surveys
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111005 Mental Health Nursing
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.whi.2013.11.004
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26320

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only