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Physical health, access to health services and quality of life of older Thai adults working in fruit orchards

Sutham Nanthamongkolchai (Department of Family Health, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Supaporn Tanta-Au (Department of Family Health, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Pimsurang Taechaboonsermsak (Department of Family Health, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Wanich Suksatan (Faculty of Nursing, HRH Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Science, Chulabhorn Royal Academy, Bangkok, Thailand)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 7 March 2022

Issue publication date: 2 August 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Improving people’s quality of life (QoL) has become a prominent policy goal. However, nothing is known about how QoL evolves as people age, especially for those working in fruit orchards. This study aims to determine the associations of physical health and access to health services with QoL, and the factors predicting the QoL of older Thai adults working in fruit orchards.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 255 adults aged 60–69 years recruited through stratified random sampling. Data were collected through questionnaires. The collected data were then analyzed using the Chi-square test, Pearson’s correlation coefficient and stepwise multiple regression analysis.

Findings

It was found that the study participants were generally physically healthy (36.5% at the “good” level and 56.5.5% at the moderate level) and generally had access to health services when they were most ill (78.2% at the “good” level and 21.8% at the moderate level). The overall QoL was good for 56.3% of the participants. The factors associated with and predicting the QoL of the participants were found to be social support, self-esteem and access to health services (p < 0.05), which were found to be capable of predicting the QoL of the participants with 35.1% accuracy.

Originality/value

On the basis of this study’s findings, it is suggested that agencies providing care for older adults organize activities to promote the good health and self-esteem of older adults, obtain social support for them and provide them with convenient access to health-care facilities to improve their QoL.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the local coordinator for data collection and the older Thai adults who provided the data for this study. The study was partially funded by the Faculty of Public Health of Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.Ethical considerations: This study was approved by the Ethical Committee Review Board of the Faculty of Public Health in Mahidol University (MUPH 2018–008). The participants signed an informed-consent form before participating in the study.Data sharing statement: The data sets generated during and/or analyzed, and questionnaires during the current study, are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Citation

Nanthamongkolchai, S., Tanta-Au, S., Taechaboonsermsak, P. and Suksatan, W. (2022), "Physical health, access to health services and quality of life of older Thai adults working in fruit orchards", Working with Older People, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 207-215. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-11-2021-0058

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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