Exploring the factors associated with depressive symptoms and understanding stigma associated with living in a care home among older adults residing in care homes in Thailand

Tosangwarn, Suhathai (2018) Exploring the factors associated with depressive symptoms and understanding stigma associated with living in a care home among older adults residing in care homes in Thailand. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Background: Thai culture venerates caring for elders, thus care homes are stigmatised as the domain of poor older adults with no family. This impacts negatively on the psychological wellbeing of older residents and the high prevalence of depression reported among them. However, little is understood about the key factors influencing the depressive symptoms and how such stigma is experienced among care home residents. This study explored factors associated with depressive symptoms, internalised stigma, self-esteem, social support and coping strategies among residents from the perspectives of residents and staff.

Methods: Mixed methods research (convergent parallel design) was conducted in two care homes in northeast Thailand using a cross-sectional questionnaire, in-depth interview and non-participant observation. A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted with 128 older care home residents (with a response rate of 98.46%) using the 15-Item Thai Geriatric Depression Scale, Internalised Stigma of Living in a Care Home Scale, Thai Version of Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Thai Version of Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and a Coping Strategies Inventory Short Form. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 30 older residents and 20 care home staff purposively sampled from both care homes. Non-participant observation was conducted in various public spaces of the care homes in both care homes for one month. Quantitative data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) IBM PASW Version 22.0 for Windows. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data.

Results: Depressive symptoms were significantly correlated with internalised stigma, self-esteem and social support (r= 0.563, -0.574, -0.333; p< 0.001), respectively. Perceived internalised stigma of living in a care home was the strongest predictor of care home residents reporting depressive symptoms (odds ratio=9.165). In addition, the qualitative research explained the dynamics of the process of stigma related to three elements: the causes of stigma, the manifestation of stigma and the mitigating factors. Negative beliefs about care homes and people who live in them, coupled with negative attitudes and stereotypes toward older people, are the causes of stigma which are dominated by negative societal attitudes towards care homes. In addition, care home features contributing to stigma and staff issues are negative perceptions and experiences among residents whilst living in care homes. These factors trigger residents exhibiting negative emotions and behaviours (including depressive symptoms). However, the mitigating factors help to diminish or control the manifestation of stigma. These include coping strategies, social support and activities provided in care homes.

Conclusion: Older adults who perceived high internalised stigma of LiCH were over nine times as likely to report experiencing depressive symptoms. This was related to the dynamics of the process of stigma with three elements (the causes, the manifestation and the mitigating factors of stigma). The causes of stigma are the factors creating the negative emotions and behaviours among residents living in Thai care homes. In addition, the mitigating factors help to diminish the manifestations of stigma. The most compelling need to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of elderly residents of care homes in Thailand is to combat the societal and cultural stigma associated with this population. This may be achieved through media collaboration, educational interventions in the care home setting and organising social activities for residents and their families.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Blake, Holly
Clissett, Philip
Keywords: Stigma; Depression; Older adults; Care home
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WT Geriatrics. Chronic disease
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Item ID: 51098
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 04:41
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 08:46
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/51098

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