This study aims to identify the relationships between health behaviours, self-management abilities, physical health, depressive symptoms and well-being among Turkish older immigrants.

A total of 2350 older Turkish migrants aged > 65 years residing in Rotterdam, the Netherlands were identified using the municipal register of which 680 respondents completed the questionnaires (response rate of 32%).

Average age of the respondents was 72.90 (standard deviation 5.02) (range 66–95) years and about half of them were women (47.6%). The majority of respondents reported having a low education (80.3%), low income level (83.4%), is chronically ill (90.6%), overweight (86.5%) and about half obese (46.0%). More than half of the respondents eat enough fruit (58.2%) and vegetables per week (55.3%). About a third of the respondents smoke (33.5%) and 43.0% can be considered to be physically active. Looking at the health behaviours a weak positive relationship was found between eating enough vegetables and well-being (β = 0.14; P = 0.017). In addition, weak relationships were found between physical activity and depressive symptoms (β = −0.16; P = 0.007), smoking and depressive symptoms (β = 0.16; P = 0.009) and self-management abilities and physical health (β = 0.17; P = 0.015). Strongest relationships were found between self-management abilities and depressive symptoms (β = −0.39; P < 0.001) and self-management abilities with overall well-being (β = 0.49; P < 0.001).

From this study, we can conclude that next to health behaviours broader self-management abilities to maintain overall well-being are important for Turkish older people. Interventions to improve self-management abilities may help Turkish older people better deal with function losses and chronic diseases as they age further.

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doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cky174, hdl.handle.net/1765/111989
European Journal of Public Health
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Cramm, J.M, & Nieboer, A.P. (2018). The importance of health behaviours and especially broader self-management abilities for older Turkish immigrants. European Journal of Public Health, 28(6), 1087–1092. doi:10.1093/eurpub/cky174