Comparison of Happiness and Spiritual Well-Being among the Community Dwelling Elderly and those who Lived in Sanitariums

Document Type: Original article


Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran


Background: Several studies are available on the lifestyle, psychological and mental health of the elderly adults. This study aimed to compare the spiritual well-being and happiness in the elderly who lived in sanitariums with those lived in the community.Methods: A comparative study was conducted on 384 elderly adults. A census sampling was used in sanitariums and a convenience sampling was performed to select the community dwelling (CD) older adults. A demographic questionnaire, the Pauloutzian and Ellison’s spiritual well-being scale and the Oxford happiness questionnaire were used in this study. Descriptive statistics and Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests and Spearman correlation coefficient were employed for data analysis, using the SPSS software, version 13.0.Results: From the total participants, 56% were CD elderly and 44% were in sanitariums. Among the CD older adults, no one was at a high level of spiritual well-being while in sanitariums 24.4% were at a high level of spiritual well-being. Also, 71.2% of the community dwelling older adults were at a high level of happiness while only 3.6% of those living in sanitariums expressed a high level of happiness. A significant association was found between the level of spiritual well-being and happiness in those who lived in sanitariums (r=0.177, P<0.021).Conclusion: Most of the elderly living in the community and in sanitariums showed moderate spiritual well-being and low happiness. Therefore, nurses and health authorities are responsible not only to inform the community about the importance of spiritual well-being and happiness, but also to establish some strategies in this regard.