The purpose of this descriptive, correlational study was to test a conceptual model of proposed relationships between physical health limitation, the sense of coherence, illness appraisal, and quality of life in a sample of 137 older women. The typical respondent was 76, widowed, with an income less than $12,000, and several health problems. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that physical health limitation, particularly symptom bother and functional health, had a significant negative influence on quality of life. However this effect was mediated by sense of coherence and illness appraisal. Regardless of the level of symptoms or functional health, women with higher sense of coherence and more positive illness appraisals had higher levels of quality of life. The findings support the proposed model and further our understandings regarding the protective role of personality resources in perceived quality of life in older women with chronic illnesses.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.