Journal List > J Korean Acad Community Health Nurs > v.27(4) > 1058433

Song and Boo: Factors Affecting the Intention to Participate in Healthcare Programs among Elders Living Alone



The aim of this study is to identify factors affecting elders' intention to participate in healthcare programs.


This secondary data analysis used data of 390 elderly people who lived alone and were enrolled in the Visiting Health Care Center of H-city. In 2014, questionnaires were used to collect data about demographics, social activity, depression, frailty, and intention to participate in healthcare programs. The data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regressions.


Among the participants, 51.8% intended to participate in the offered healthcare programs. The strongest factor affecting the intention was gender. Women were 4.85 times more likely to participate in the programs than men. The women's intention was associated positively with increased levels of frailty. The men tended to participate in the program as they got older and as the level of frailty and the number of chronic diseases increased.


Gender-specific public healthcare programs for vulnerable elders living alone should be developed to maximize their participation in the programs and to promote good health. The healthcare programs must be tailored to the levels of the patients' physical functions.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Characteristics of Participants by Gender (N=390)

Characteristics Total (n=390) Male (n=107) Female (n=283) x2 or t p
n (%) or M±SD n (%) or M±SD n (%) or M±SD
Age (year) 77.56±5.80 76.09±5.81 78.12±5.70 −3.12 .002
Social activity (≥1/week) 251 (64.4) 59 (55.1) 192 (67.8) 5.46 .019
Number of chronic disease 2.08±1.21 1.66±1.10 2.24±1.22 −4.31 <.001
Depression 5.45±2.17 5.50±2.09 5.39±2.20 0.47 .638
 Normal 141 (36.2) 38 (35.5) 103 (36.4) 1.31 .521
 Mild 225 (57.7) 60 (56.1) 165 (58.3)
 Severe 24 (6.2) 9 (8.4) 15 (5.3)
Frailty 5.13±3.60 3.58±2.98 5.72±3.65 −5.42 <.001

Diagnosed hypertension, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer.

Table 2

Differences in Characteristics by Intention to Participate in Healthcare Programs Pulmonary Disease, and Cancer (N=390)

Characteristics Yes (n=202) No (n=188) x2 or t p
n (%) or M±SD n (%) or M±SD
Female 171 (60.4) 112 (39.6) 30.76 <.001
Male 31 (29.0) 76 (71.0)
Age (year) 77.67±5.32 77.45±6.28 -0.38 .702
Social activity (≥1/week) 143 (57.0) 108 (43.0) 7.56 .006
Number of chronic disease 2.13±1.16 2.04±1.23 -0.74 .460
Depression 5.23±2.14 5.62±2.18 1.78 .076
 Normal 85 (60.3) 56 (39.7) 6.68 .036
 Mild 107 (47.6) 118 (52.4)
 Severe 10 (41.7) 14 (58.4)
Frailty 4.71±3.60 5.59±3.56 2.42 .016

Diagnosed hypertension, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer.

Table 3

Factors Affecting Intention to Participate in Healthcare Programs (N=390)

Variables Total Male Female
OR 95% CI p OR 95% CI p OR 95% CI p
Gender (female) 4.85 2.84~8.29 <.001
Age 1.03 0.98~1.07 .233 1.13 1.03~1.24 .013 0.99 0.95~1.05 .890
Social activity (≥1/week) 1.35 0.85~2.15 .211 1.95 0.67~5.65 .220 1.20 0.70~2.06 .504
Number of chronic disease 1.12 0.92~1.37 .253 1.86 1.10~3.13 .021 1.03 0.83~1.28 .803
Depression 1.05 0.93~1.18 .420 1.29 0.96~1.72 .088 1.00 0.88~1.14 .995
Frailty 0.84 0.78~0.92 <.001 0.06 0.41~0.74 <.001 0.90 0.83~0.99 .029

Diagnosed hypertension, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer.


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