A mixed methods study describing the self-care practices in an older working population with cardiovascular disease (CVD): Balancing work, life and health

Heart Lung. May-Jun 2021;50(3):447-454. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2021.02.001. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Abstract

Background: Self-care is essential to cardiovascular disease (CVD) health outcomes, but may be challenging for older working adults.

Objective: Describe self-care and the relationship of work-related characteristics to self-care among older workers with CVD.

Methods: Convergent mixed methods design (n = 108) assessed self-care, organization of work, job-level and clinical factors; qualitative data (n = 40) explored self-care and working. Data integrated in the final analytic phase.

Results: Sixty-eight percent reported adequate self-care maintenance (SC-CHDI maintenance ≥70); only 22% had adequate self-care management (SC-CHDI management ≥ 70). Controlling for physical capacity, work-related factors explained 22% variance in self-care maintenance; physical capacity was only significant determinant of self-care management. Individuals with poor self-care described low job control, job stress and work-life imbalance that interfered with routine self-care. Individuals with poor self-care management reported "feeling stressed out" and "extreme fatigue" attributed to their job.

Conclusions: Interventions targeting self-care, stress management and work-life balance among older workers with CVD are needed.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Mixed methods; Self-care; Stress management; Work-life balance.