A conceptual model of quality of life for older people in residential care facilities in South Africa
Van Biljon, Lizanlé
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This study explored older people s construction of quality of life (QoL) whilst living in a residential care facility. Six domains related to QoL were derived from a larger qualitative inquiry that employed multiple data collection techniques (interviews, focus groups, journals and the Mmogo–method®) with 54 older people living in residential care facilities in South Africa. The findings of the study were presented to 19 older people who participated in the initial stages of data collection and availed themselves for further involvement. Based on Interactive Qualitative Analysis (IQA) procedures, participants were requested to judge cause and effect relationships between the six domains, namely: spirituality, health, meaningfulness, sense of place, autonomy and relationships. The IQA approach yielded a conceptual model which described older people s QoL. QoL was presented as a complex system comprising two feedback systems, i.e. (i) the physical ability to live meaningfully facilitated through spirituality; and (ii) intra–personal meaningfulness in the environmental context. The causal influences between the two feedback systems seemed to have an effect on the relational aspects of older people s lives. Theoretical and methodological contributions emerged from this study. The article concludes with recommendations and practical implications of the conceptual model.
- Faculty of Health Sciences