Stress, lifestyle, and quality of life in midlife and older Australian women: results from the stress and the health of women study

Article


Seib, Charrlotte, Whiteside, Eliza, Lee, Kathryn, Humphreys, Janice, Dao Tran, Tiet Hanh, Chopin, Lisa and Anderson, Debra. 2014. "Stress, lifestyle, and quality of life in midlife and older Australian women: results from the stress and the health of women study." Women's Health Issues. 24 (1), pp. e43-e52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2013.11.004
Article Title

Stress, lifestyle, and quality of life in midlife and older Australian women: results from the stress and the health of women study

ERA Journal ID13816
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsSeib, Charrlotte (Author), Whiteside, Eliza (Author), Lee, Kathryn (Author), Humphreys, Janice (Author), Dao Tran, Tiet Hanh (Author), Chopin, Lisa (Author) and Anderson, Debra (Author)
Journal TitleWomen's Health Issues
Journal Citation24 (1), pp. e43-e52
Number of Pages10
Year2014
Place of PublicationNew York, NY. United States
ISSN1049-3867
1878-4321
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2013.11.004
Web Address (URL)https://www.whijournal.com/article/S1049-3867(13)00109-6/fulltext
Abstract

Background: Chronic psychological stress may pose a serious threat to health, although the mechanisms are not fully understood. This study examines the impact of stress on modifiable lifestyle factors, depressive symptoms, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and chronic illness in older Australian women.
Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected from a random sample of 181 older adults aged 60 to 70years from rural and urban areas of South-East Queensland, Australia. We used structural equation modelling to examine associations between stress, modifiable lifestyle factors, HRQOL, and chronic illness.
Findings: Parameter estimates show that older women who reported life stressors where they felt helpless and feared for their life (high-magnitude stressors) also reported higher body mass index (p=.03) and more chronic illness (p<.01). In contrast, duration of exposure to life stressors was associated with higher depressive symptom scores (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; p=.02) and sleep disturbance scores (p<.01).
Conclusions: Our findings support the link between traumatic personal histories (exposure to high-magnitude stressors) and unhealthy lifestyle factors. Findings highlight the need for more research on how stress reduction, a healthy lifestyle, and positive coping strategies can be used to reduce the effects of high-magnitude stress on HRQOL and chronic illness.

KeywordsAustralia; chronic disease; cross-sectional studies; depression; female; follow-up studies; health status; health surveys
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420504. Mental health nursing
420305. Health and community services
420313. Mental health services
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
University of California, United States
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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