Abstract 10324: Balancing Work, Life and Health: A Mixed Methods Study Describing the Self-care Practices of an Older Working Population With Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
For the 3.5 million workers with CHD, daily self-care (i.e., treatment adherence, symptom monitoring and symptom management) must take place within the context of work.
Objective: To describe the self-care practices of aging workers (>age 50 years) with CHD and examine the relationship of work organization (work processes and organizational practices), job-level factors and self-care.
Methods: In this mixed methods study, 125 working adults with CHD completed valid and reliable instruments about organizational and job-related factors (job stress, job control, and work-life balance (WLB)), individual-level factors (mood, physical functioning) and self-care. A purposively selected subsample (n=40) participated in interviews about self-care within the context of work. Multiple regression examined the determinants of self-care. Then, qualitative data were analyzed using thematic content analysis, followed by data integration.
Results: In this sample (69% Male, 85% White; mean age 59±5 years), 49% reported a recent myocardial infarction, 67% were overweight/obese and 60% had depressive symptoms. Overall, 68% reported adequate self-care (Self-Care Heart Disease Index mean 76±14) with significant differences in self-care by age, ethnicity and job type. There were significant interaction effects of job control and job type on self-care (F 2.097, p=.038); and WLB and job type on self-care (F 2.53, p=.024). Narrative accounts of self-care revealed that most struggled with diet and exercise due to job demands. These older workers with CHD reported competing WLB issues (e.g., as caregivers to adults vs. own health) for which they felt ill-equipped to manage. Those with poor self-care measured quantitatively reported feeling stressed and fatigued which they attributed to their job. Few interpreted the symptoms as related to CHD. Workers were selective in whom they discussed their CHD, self-care needs and daily symptoms, articulated as fear of discrimination and quantified as workplace injustice (mean 23±6).
Conclusions: Self-care is challenging for many older workers with CHD and influenced by multi-dimensional factors. In this population with CHD, WLB encompasses balancing self-care with job and daily life responsibilities.
Author Disclosures: V. Dickson: None. J. Jun: None. N. Warren: None. G. D'Eramo Melkus: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.