The connection between chronic diseases and self-image and self-esteem
Keywords:elderly, self-esteem, self-image, diabetes, rheumatism
Introduction: With aging, the incidence of chronic diseases among elderly increases, as about 88% of them have at least one chronic condition, with 50% having at least two. The presence of these diseases influences their self-image and self-esteem. This study aimed to identify the effects of chronic diseases on self-esteem and self-image in the group of elderly people.
Methods: A quantitative research design using a structured questionnaire was employed, where Rosenberg questionnaire with an adapted measurement scale was used for evaluating self-esteem, while Marsh’s adjusted Multidimensional self-concept scale was used for assessing self-image.
Results: The survey involved 51 respondents: 25.5% were male, and 74.5% were female, the average age of the respondents was 77.0 years. 60.8 % of them reported high blood pressure, 31.4% rheumatism, 25.5% osteoporosis and 23.5% diabetes. “Rheumatism” was statistically significantly associated with two elements of self-esteem: the “athletic self-esteem” and “inclusion”, whereas the claim for self-assessment “I can do things as good the majority of other people” was associated to the incidence of “diabetes”.
Conclusions: The results of our study indicate that rheumatism, as a most common chronic disease among this population, has a significant impact on some elements of self-image and self-esteem. Further research should focus on the concepts of self-esteem and self-image of this population.