Elderly self-management: a qualitative study

Maryam Ravanipour, Shayesteh Salehi, Fariba Taleghani, Heidar Ali Abedi


BACKGROUND: The population of elderly in Iran and in the world is increasing. It is predicted that the population of elderly reaches to 10 millions in Iran by the year 2019. Elderly more than other age groups are at risk of chronic diseases and health problems; and it affects their self-management and makes them feel disabled. Since the knowledge of self-management for Iranian elderly is not well developed, this paper aims to determine the concept of self-management for Iranian elderly.

METHODS: This is a qualitative study with grounded theory approach on Iranian elderly self-management. Data were collected through deep interviews with 26 participants in a period of one year and were analyzed using a Strauss Corbin analysis method.

RESULTS: Self-management in the context of power means using different managing methods in dealing with daily life needs, especially in interactions with others in a way that accelerates affairs with efficiency and satisfaction. The main categories emerged from this qualitative study included: managing plans, managing life goals and policies, persuading the desired goals, managing self care, directing others, coordinating and consulting with others.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study provide a deep understanding of elderly perceptions of self-management in their lives. These findings can be a baseline for future researches on developing effective health interventions such as developing a nursing model for increasing the elderly self-management abilities in Iran. Such a model can provide a strong basis for nursing care.

KEY WORDS: Self-management, elderly, grounded theory, qualitative research.

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