Objectives Leisure activities are important for older adults, not only to maintain their subjective well-being but also to prevent bedridden states. This study aimed to develop a leisure activity scale for contemporary older adults and examine its psychometric properties, based on a previous study from Iwasa et al. (2018). As people who actively engage in leisure activities are reportedly less likely to experience cognitive decline, the relationship between the scale score and cognitive function should be assessed while developing the scale. Specifically, the study was conducted to examine the reliability of the scale and its factor structure, confirm basic statistical characteristics, examine the scale's gender- and age-based differences, and the relationship between the scale score and cognitive function.
Methods We surveyed Japanese older adults living in a community (aged 70-84 years; N=594) and used data from 306 participants (151 men and 155 women). We developed and administered a scale comprising 11 items that were measured using a 4-point Likert-type scale. Additionally, we used cognitive function scales including the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Memory Impairment Screen (MIS), and the Word Fluency Test. Covariates in tests for independent associations between the leisure activity scale score and cognitive function were socioeconomic status, chronic disease, functional capacity, and living alone. We conducted two web surveys with two-week intervals for test-retest reliability purposes and used data from 192 of those participants (aged 70-79 years; 101 men and 91 women).
Results A confirmatory factor analysis upheld the fact that the scale was comprised of one factor. The scale obtained high indicators of reliability: Cronbach's alpha coefficient (0.81) and test-retest reliability (0.81). The mean, standard deviation, median, skewness, and kurtosis of the scale score were 14.44, 7.13, 15, −0.12, and −0.73, respectively. The analysis of variance for the scale score indicated significant age-based differences (i.e., the score for those who were 70-74 years old was higher than for those who were 80-84 years old) and no significant gender differences. Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that the scale score was significantly and independently correlated with MMSE (β=0.31), MIS (β=0.24), and word fluency (β=0.25).
Conclusion This study confirmed the psychometric properties of the leisure activity scale, including factor structure, reliability, basic statistical characteristics, no gender differences, significant age-based differences, and relationship to cognitive function. Future studies should examine the longitudinal relationship between the leisure activity scale score and cognition among older adults in community settings.
Objectives Improvement in the quality of meals provided after a disaster is an important issue. We reanalyzed the data obtained from the dietary survey of emergency shelters in Miyagi Prefecture 2 and 3 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 to improve the quality of meals at emergency shelters.
Methods We performed a secondary analysis of the data from the dietary survey conducted by the Miyagi prefectural government. Two hundred and forty-one and 49 emergency shelters participated in the 1-day dietary survey in May 2011 and June 2011, respectively. We targeted emergency shelters that had no missing data and provided 3 meals a day. As a result, we targeted 216 emergency shelters in May and 49 in June. We examined the amounts of nutrients (i.e. energy, protein, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin C) and food groups (i.e. cereal, potatoes, meat, seafood, eggs, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and fats) in meal portions provided in lunch boxes, rationing, and mass feeding.
Results We found significant differences in the amounts of energy and nutrients in the meals provided at the emergency shelters 2 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake but found no significant differences 3 months after the disaster. The amounts of energy, protein, seafood, and fats were high, and those of vitamins B1 and C, potatoes, and vegetables were low, at the emergency shelters where lunch boxes were provided. The amounts of potatoes, meat, and vegetables were high at the emergency shelters where mass feeding was conducted.
Conclusion Two months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the provision of lunch boxes at emergency shelters may have increased the amounts of energy, protein, and seafood in meals served to survivors, whereas the amounts of vitamins B1 and C have remained low. These results indicate that providing lunch boxes at an early stage in the event of a disaster can improve energy and protein supply. We believe a combination of lunch box and mass feeding will improve the nutrient supply at emergency shelters.
Objectives The aims of this study were to investigate perceived childcare burdens among mothers with an inter-pregnancy interval of less than 12 months, and to identify the factors associated with those perceptions.
Methods Anonymous, self-administered questionnaires on inter-pregnancy intervals, the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS), and the childcare emotion scale were distributed to mothers who visited one of three health and welfare centers in City A for three-month well-baby checkups. Six hundred eighty-five subjects were classified into four groups according to their inter-pregnancy interval (<12 months apart; ≥12 months but <24 months apart; ≥24 months apart; and a group with no siblings), and they was used to analyze associations between the timing of pregnancy and the mothers’ perceptions of their childcare burdens. Chi-squared tests, a one-way analysis of variance, the Kruskal-Wallis test, and linear regression analyses were used for analysis.
Results The inter-pregnancy interval was <12 months in 35 of the 685 respondents, ≥12 months but <24 months in 114 respondents, and ≥24 months in 194 respondents. There were 342 respondents in the no-siblings group. Linear regression analyses disclosed some factors associated with the subordinate items of the childcare emotion scale. “Feeling restricted by childcare duties” is significantly correlated to inter-pregnancy interval (P=.032), family composition (P=.014), time of sleeping (P=.010), and night wake-up time (P=.001). “Feeling of burden because of the child's attitude and behavior” was significantly related to inter-pregnancy interval (P<.001), mother's age (P=.003), time of sleeping (P=.009), and night wake-up time (P=.002). “Anxiety about the child's growth” was significantly related to inter-pregnancy interval (P<.001), mother's age (P=.016), and gestational age (P<.001). In addition, the group with gestation intervals of less than 12 months had significantly higher numbers of women in single-parent households (P=.005), who were unmarried (P=.007), had only a junior high school education (P=.0027), and were 24 years old or younger (P<.001).
Conclusion The pregnancy interval is significantly related to the “Feeling restricted by childcare duties,” “Feeling of burden because of the child's attitude and behavior,” and “Anxiety about the child's growth,” even after adjusting the influence of other factors. In addition, the results of this study demonstrated that mothers in the <12 months group were more likely to be in a single-parent household, unmarried, with low educational attainment, and were 24 years old or younger. The results suggest that greater support is needed for these mothers.