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BMC Health Serv Res. 2007 Feb 27;7:30.

The links between health-related behaviors and life satisfaction in elderly individuals who prefer institutional living.

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  • 1School of Physical Education and Sports, Istanbul University, 34310 Avcilar, Istanbul, Turkey. inal.serap@gmail.com



Life satisfaction among residents of institutions is becoming an important issue in a rapidly aging population. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the links between life satisfaction and health-related behaviors amongst functionally independent elderly people who prefer institutional living in Istanbul, Turkey.


The socio-demographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, leisure-time activities and fall histories of 133 residents of an institution in Istanbul were assessed by a structured questionnaire during face-to-face interviews. A validated life-satisfaction index questionnaire (LSI-A) was completed.


The mean age of the study group was 73.9 +/- 8.0 (range 60-90 years). Within the group, 22.6% had never married and 14.3% had university degrees. The majority (71.4%) were in the low income bracket. The overall mean LSI-A score was 20.3 +/- 5.9. Participants who declared moderate/high income levels had a significantly higher mean LSI-A score than those in the low-income bracket (p = 0.009). Multivariate analysis of the data suggested that leisure-time activities and participation in regular physical activities are significant predictors of LSI-A scores (R2: 0.112; p = 0.005 and p = 0.02, respectively).


The findings imply that regular physical activity and leisure-time activities are significantly related to life satisfaction among residents in institutions. Participation in physical activity and leisure-time activity programs may help to improve the life satisfaction of elderly people living in institutions.

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