Individualism and Partnership: A Descriptive Qualitative Analysis of the Chronic Disease Phenomenon as Perceived by Older Adults


With the older adult population projected to increase substantially in the next 10 years, the incidence of chronic disease will become a significant factor in the burden of disease both globally and within the United States. The chronic disease state has been shown to decrease quality of life and the life expectancy of those individuals. In Tennessee the incidence of chronic disease, lower incomes, and education levels increases the risk of decreased quality of life and increased mortality in the older adult population. A review of literature by the researcher reveals that scant research has focused upon the older adult’s perspective toward chronic illness and making changes to their health routine. As part of a mixed-method correlational study, focus groups used a descriptive qualitative approach to increase understanding of the phenomenon of chronic illness. The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine the attitudes and perceptions of older adults in East Tennessee towards behavior change and health maintenance in chronic disease.

Share and Cite:

Sell, K. , Amella, E. , Mueller, M. , Andrews, J. and Wachs, J. (2015) Individualism and Partnership: A Descriptive Qualitative Analysis of the Chronic Disease Phenomenon as Perceived by Older Adults. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 935-947. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.510099.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013) The State of Aging & Health in America. C.f.D. Control, Editor, US Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta.
[2] Whittemore, R. and Dixon, J. (2008) Chronic Illness: The Process of Integration. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17, 177-187.
[3] Centers for Disease Control (2009) Chronic Disease: The Power to Prevent, the Call to Control. U.S.D.o.H.a.H. Resources, Editor, Atlanta.
[4] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2010) National Expenditure Projections 2010-2020: Forecast Summary. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Woodlawn.
[5] Dunn-Cane, K., Gonzalez, J. and Stewart, H. (1999) Managing the New Generation. American Journal of Operating Room Nurses, 69, 930-940.
[6] Phillipson, C., et al. (2008) Social and Cultural Constructions of Ageing: The Case of the Baby Boomers. Sociological Research Online, 13, 5.
[7] Bandura, A. (2004) Health Promotion by Social Cognitive Means. Health Education & Behavior, 31, 143-164.
[8] Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K. and Viswanath, K., Eds. (2008) Health Behavior and Education. 4th Edition, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
[9] Bandura, A. (1986) Social Foundation of Thoughts and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River.
[10] Polit, D.F. and Beck, C.T. (2012) Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice. 9th Edition, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
[11] Krueger, R.A. (2009) Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
[12] Sandelowski, M. (2000) Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Sampling, Data Collection, and Analysis Techniques in Mixed-Method Studies. Research in Nursing & Health, 23, 246-255.<246::AID-NUR9>3.0.CO;2-H
[13] Tennessee Department of Health (2008) Tennessee Deaths 2007.
[14] Braun, V. and Clarke, V. (2006) Using Thematic Analysis in Psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77-101.
[15] QRS International (2012) NVivo.
[16] Sandelowski, M. and Leeman, J. (2012) Writing Usable Qualitative Health Research Findings. Qualitative Health Research, 22, 1404-1413.
[17] Plano Clark, V.L. and Creswell, J.W. (2008) The Mixed Methods Reader. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
[18] Fereday, J. and Muir-Cochrane, E. (2006) Demonstrating Rigor Using Thematic Analysis: A Hybrid Approach of Inductive and Deductive Coding and Theme Development. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5, 80-92.
[19] Creswell, J.W. and Plano Clark, V.L. (2011) Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. 2nd Edition, Sage Publications, Los Angeles.
[20] Lincoln, Y. and Guba, E. (1985) Naturalistic Inquiry. Sage Publications, Newbury Park.
[21] Specialze, H.J. and Carpenter, D.R. (2007) Qualitative Research in Nursing. 4th Edition, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkin, Philadelphia.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.