This study aimed to explain factors affecting health-related quality of life
among community-dwelling elderly individuals living in Japan. We conducted
a questionnaire survey of 898 individuals at senior citizens clubs in a
rural area near the Tokyo metropolitan area in 2015, and analyzed the responses
of 715 who provided valid responses. The survey questions included
basic attributes (e.g., age, economic affluence), state of health (e.g., whether
s/he has heart disease or not), the Spirituality Rating Scale Related to Health
in the Elderly (SP Health Scale, composed of, e.g., meaning and purpose of
living, self-transcendence), the Abbreviated Lubben Social Network Scale, and
the MOS 8-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-8). Multiple regression analyses
were performed using the physical component summary (PCS) and
mental component summary (MCS) of the SF-8 as dependent variables and all
others as independent variables. Factors associated with improved PCS were
economic affluence and SP Health Scale (meaning and purpose of living),
while the factors associated with reduced PCS were age and state of health
(heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, osteoarthritis, lower back pain, knee
pain, and eligible for long-term care). Meanwhile, factors associated with improved
MCS were economic affluence, while those that were associated with
reduced MCS were state of health (cancer and headache) and SP Health Scale
(self-transcendence). These results suggest the need to understand spirituality
in addition to the subjective economic situation, age, and medical condition of
elderly individuals in order to improve their physical and mental health.
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