Well-being in the older male : an investigation of mental, social and physical well-being indicators in Wanganui men : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Nursing at Massey University
New Zealand's older population is gradually increasing. This will mean the number of people with problems related to psychological and general well-being will also rise. When compared to women, men do not live as long, are more likely to die from intentional injury and use primary health services less. There is a paucity of research on older men, particularly within a New Zealand context. Because nurses work closely with people in primary, secondary and tertiary care settings they are well placed to undertake research and utilise research findings from studies relating to the older adult to promote health and well-being. The intention of the present study was to gain a greater understanding of those factors which impact on well-being in older men. Based on Wan, Odell and Lewis's (1982) model of general well-being, mental, social and physical well-being indicators were investigated to examine their relationships to overall psychological well-being and physical health. The data for the present study were collected from a non-probability sample of 217 older males (over 65 years) residing in the Wanganui area. Multiple regression analyses revealed that of the mental, social and physical well-being indicators only satisfaction with social supports and number of visits to the doctor in the previous 12 months were significantly related to psychological well-being, and number of medications and illness/disabilities were significantly related to physical health as measured by self ratings of health. Findings are discussed in relation to the literature. It is clear that nurses, and other health professionals, need to be aware of the relationship between objective health status and subjective well-being, and the distinction between the quality and quantity of support in order to provide effective care to older men. Finally the general limitations and future research implications are discussed.