How life stressors influence modifiable lifestyle factors, depressive symptoms, and physical and mental health among Vietnamese older women?
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Background: Research has demonstrated that exposure to life stressors can influence health through a number of pathways. However, knowledge about the patterns of life stressors and their contributions to health in different populations is limited. Vietnamese older women have attracted little research to date in this area. Methods: This cross-sectional study used an interview-administered-questionnaire to collect data from 440 Vietnamese older women. Descriptive analysis was used to describe life stressors among Vietnamese older women. Binary analysis and Structural Equation Modelling statistical analysis were used to examine the influences of life stressors on modifiable lifestyle factors, depressive symptoms, physical and mental health among Vietnamese older women. Results: Vietnamese older women in this study commonly reported the experience of losing a close person, including a baby/child, serious health or money problems, violence and disaster. Among the study participants, (1) exposure to more life stressors increased their depressive symptoms, and decreased their physical and mental health; (2) exposure to more life stressors also increased their physical health by increasing their physical activity levels. Conclusion: Life stressors influenced health among Vietnamese older women through different pathways. Interventions to manage stress and depressive symptoms are required for Vietnamese older women in the future.
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