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Quality of Life of the Early Retired Government

Officers in Nonthaburi Province


Sutham Nanthamongkolchai* Udomlux Pasapun**
Phitaya Charrupoonphol* Chokchai Munsawaengsub*
ABSTRACT
A Cross-sectional study aimed to study quality of life of the early retired government
officers and factors related. Two hundred early retired government officers in Nonthaburi Province
were selected by simple random sampling technique. The data were collected by interview
questionnaire during November 15, 2004 to January 15, 2005, analyzed by frequency, percentage,
mean, standard deviation, Pearson product moment correlation coefficient, and stepwise multiple
regression. The result revealed that the majority of early retired government officers (70.5%) had
a high level of quality of life, followed by moderate level (28.5%) and low level (1.0%). The factors
with statistically significant related to quality of life of the early retired government officers
(p-value < 0.05) were self-esteem, participation in family activities, participation in social activities,
and social support. In addition, self-esteem, participation in social activities, and social support could
significantly predict quality of life of early retired government officers by 52.6%. The factor with
the highest predictive power for quality of life was self-esteem.
To promote the good quality of life of the early retirees, the health provider should start
with the promotion of self-esteem, then establish and broaden the communicating networks of early
retirees to enable them to keep contact and participate in social activities.
Key words: Quality of life, self-esteem, early retired government officers.
Correspondence: Associate Professor Dr. Sutham Nanthamongkolchai. Department of Family Health, Faculty of Public Health,
Mahidol University 420/1 Rajvithi Road, Rajchathewi District, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand
* Department of Family Health, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University
** Chainoi Health Officer District, Nonthaburi Province
J Public Health 2008; 38(3): 407-415.
Journal of Public Health, September-December 2008 Vol. 38 No. 3
408
Introduction
Retirement systems for each country
are different and may be classified into three
categories, which are as follows: 1) unspecified
age for retirement, 2) flexible retirement
according to job characteristics, 3) regulating
retirement for all job characteristics
1
. The
retirement system of The United State of America
has unspecified age; some are voluntary retirees
and receive full pension and incentive benefit.
According to the study of Henretta JC et al.
2
it
was found that the reasons for early retirement
of American people were that 47% wanted to
quit working before age of retirement, 24.9% had
health problem. It was also found that those with
both heath problem and dissatisfaction with the
job want to retire early at the age of 55 years.
In Thailand, government officers who
reach the full year of 60 for all job characteristics
consider retirement. According to the Officials
Retirement Benefit and Pension Act in 1987,
public servants at age 60 years are allowed to
apply for their permanent job retirement
1
.
However, in the year 1999, the government
launched the new retirement law to allow the
government officers to apply for early retirement
at 50 years of age (45 years for military officer)
or after completing 25 years of services. This is
to support the new policy of federal system
revolution in downsizing the manpower in the
organization according to the national plan and
social development
3
. The early retirement in the
year 2000-2002 were totaling 59,485 retirees
4
while in Nonthaburi Province there were 560
retirees. Early retirement is an optional retirement
for those retirees volunteer to retire from job
and is a significant event part of life. Therefore,
those retirees who are well prepared could cope
with the changes in economics, social and mental
with high quality of life. But as for those ill
prepared, they may be faced with maladjustment
after retirement which leads to lower quality of
life.
By the mentioned data brought out the
group of early retired public officers which are
the new population group of the Thai community.
The information related to this group of peoples
are quite rear and insufficient, especially
concerning the quality of life. As a result, the
researcher is interested in studying the quality
of life and the associated factors of the early
retirees in Nonthaburi Province by using the
PRECEDE-PROCEED Model of Green W and
Kreuter WM. as a conceptual framework
5
. The
hypothesis of the quality of early retiree life are
related to predisposing factors, which are age and
self esteem, as well as enabling factors which
include monthly incomes, family participation
and social participation, reinforcing factor is social
support. Therefore, the result could be the guide
for guiding and encouraging development of a
better quality of life for the early retirees and
also help in evaluate the successfulness of the
early retirement policy of the government.
Material and Method
The present study was a cross - sectional
survey research. Data were collected from
November 15, 2004 to January 15, 2005 by two
38 3 - 2551 409
researchers after a pilot study with the inter-rater
reliability test of 95-100 percent agreement in
each item. Two hundred early retirees government
officer were subjects who joined to change their
way of life by choosing the Early Retirement
Program during 2000-2002 (generation 1-to 3),
and were living in Nonthaburi province were
selected by using the simple random sampling.
The instrument used in the study was an interview
questionnaire developed by the researchers that
consisted of six parts. Part I was demographic
characteristics, such as gender, age, marital
status, education level, monthly income, and
reason for retirement. Part II determined the
participation in family activities with seven
questions. Past III evaluated the participation in
social activities with seven items. Part IV
determined the social support by using Cobb S
and Jacobson DEs concept with eighteen
questions
6-7
. Part V evaluated the self-esteem by
using Coppersmiths self-esteem inventory with
eighteen questions
8
. Part VI evaluated the
quality of life using World Health Organization
Quality of Life Assessment: WHOQOL-THAI-
BREF with twenty five questions
9
.
The interview questionnaire was assessed
by three experts for content validity. Reliability
was accomplished with a pretest by pilot study
among thirty five early retired government
officers with similar characteristics to those of
the study population. The results were analyzed
for reliability by using Cronbachs alpha
coefficient. The reliability values of questionnaire
were as follows: participation in family activities
= 0.70, participation in social activities = 0.74,
social support = 0.87, self-esteem = 0.86, and
quality of life = 0.85, respectively.
Data were analyzed by frequency,
percentage, and mean; in addition, standard
deviation was used for general characteristic of
samples and Pearson product moment correlation
coefficient was used for factors that were related
to quality of life. Stepwise multiple regressions
were also used to determine the best factors that
predict the quality of life of the early retired
government officers. A p-value of less than 0.05
was considered statiscally significant. The
research proposal was reviewed and approved
by the Committee of Human Rights on Human
Rights Related to human Experimentation,
Mahidol University, Bangkok: No 125/2004.
Results
General characteristics of the early retired
government officers found that 73.5% were
female with the average age of 57 years, two
thirds finished bachelor degrees, average
monthly income was 17,806 baht, 62.5% lived
in a nuclear family, and 59.5% early retired for
resting. Most of the early retirees had moderate
self-esteem (71.0%), 71.5% high participat in
family activities, 37.5% moderate participate
in social activities, and 53.5% had high social
support (Table 1).
410
Table 1 Number and percentage of the early retired government officers classified by
general characteristics.
Characteristic n %
Gender (n) 200
Male 53 26.5
Female 147 73.5
Age groups (n) 200
45 - 49 9 4.5
50 - 59 112 56.0
60 - 69 79 39.5
X = 57.4 SD = 4.11 Min = 46 Max = 64
Education level (n) 200
Secondary education 25 12.5
Diploma/Certificate 38 19.0
Bachelor education 131 65.5
Master education 6 3.0
Monthly income (n) 200
Less than 15,000 baht 83 41.5
15,000 - 20,000 baht 78 39.0
More than 20,000 baht 39 19.5
X = 17,806 SD = 10,398 Min = 7,000 Max = 90,000
Family type (n) 200
Nuclear family 125 62.5
Extended family 75 37.5
Reason of early retired (n) 200
Resting 119 59.5
Money 54 27.0
Health problem 27 13.5
Self-esteem (n) 200
Low level (20 - 39) 31 15.5
Moderate level (39 - 54) 142 71.0
High level (55 - 60) 27 13.5
Participation in family activities (n) 200
Low level (7 - 14) 18 9.0
Moderate level (15 - 17) 37 19.5
High level (18 - 21) 143 71.5
Participation in social activities (n) 200
Low level (7 - 14) 66 33.0
Moderate level (15 - 17) 75 37.5
High level (18 - 21) 59 29.5
Social support (n) 200
Low level (18 - 39) 16 8.0
Moderate level (40 - 46) 77 38.5
High level (47 - 54) 107 53.5
38 3 - 2551 411
Quality of life of the early retired
government officers was assessed by using
WHOQOL BREF-THAI inventory and the scores
were classified into three levels. Most of the
early retired government officers had a high
quality of life (70.5) followed by those with a
moderate level, 28.5%, and those with a low
level 1.0% (Table 2).
Level of quality of life n (200) %
Low level (20 - 39) 2 1.0
Moderate level (39 - 54) 57 28.5
High level (55 - 60) 141 70.5
Table 2 Quality of life of the early retired government officers.
Analyzing the factors related to the quality
of life of the early retired government officers
and the predictive factor of quality of life, it was
found that the statistically significant factors
that correlated to the quality of life of the early
retired government officers (p-value < 0.05) were,
self-esteem, participation in family activities,
participation in social activities, and social support
(Table 3). Factors that had a predictive power to
predict quality of life were analyzed by using
stepwise multiple regression. They showed that
self-esteem, participation in social activities, and
social support could predict 52.8% of quality of
life of the early retired government officers. The
factor with highest correlation with quality of
life in the early retired government officers was
self-esteem (Beta = 0.47) followed by participation
in social activities, and social support, with the
Beta of 0.19 and 0.18, respectively (Table 4).
Therefore, quality of life of the early retired
government officers = 8.130 + 0.47 self-esteem
+ 0.19 participation in social activities + 0.18
social support.
412
Table 3 Correlation coefficient between predisposing feature enabling factors reinforcing
and quality of life of the early retired government officers.
Variables Quality of life
r p-value
Predisposing factors
Age -0.139 0.050
Self-esteem 0.656* < 0.001
Enabling factors
Monthly income 0.124 0.080
Participation in family activities 0.327* < 0.001
Participation in social activities 0.419* < 0.001
Reinforcing factors
Social support 0.531* < 0.001
* significantly level of 0.05
Variable B Beta t p-value
Self-esteem 0.537 0.475 8.169 < 0.001
Participation in social activities 0.508 0.197 3.244 0.001
Social support 0.372 0.181 2.852 0.001
Table 4 Stepwise multiple regression analysis of predict posing factors enabling factors
reinforcing factors and quality of life of the early retired government officers.
B
0
= 8.13 R = 0.610 R
2
= 0.526 Sig F = < 0.001
Discussion
The present study found that majority of
early retired government officers had a high level
of quality of life and 28.5% had a moderate level.
This could be due to most early retirees were the
young old age, as some were younger than 60
years and the physical health was only mildly
deteriorated. So the reasons for early retired were
they wanted to rest, with very few having reasons
of health problems. It could be seen that most
retirees were able to carry out daily activities by
themselves, and were able to help with family and
social activities. These gave them pride and they
lived with high self-esteem which led to a better
quality of life for the early retirees. This was
inconsistent with the study of Sirinarungsan P et
al
10
who found that the quality of life of the elderly
in Thailand was mostly in the moderate level, and
29.5% were in high level.
38 3 - 2551 413
By analyzing the factors that could predict
the quality of life of the early retiree it was found
that self-esteem was the most important factor.
This might be because the early retiree had high
education and could be the mentor of the family
and society, and that other people still respected
and accepted them which made them proud and
led to good quality of life. This corresponded
with Keister KJ and Blixen CE which found that
factors that effected the quality of life of the
elderly included self-esteem
11
. Participation in
social activities was another important factor;
this may be due to their capabilities, which were
accepted by their social milieu, their contribution
to social activity, and them joining together
to conduct the public gain; these made them
proud. The results agreed with the study by
Nanthamongkolchai S et al.
12
that found a positive
correlation between participation in social activities
and self-esteem that led to a better quality of life
in the elderly. The social support factors had the
same effect, which means when the early retirees
had a broader social network, access to the right
sources of useful information and shared, respected
and accepted each other, along with having support
from the persons and the surrounding community,
they were able to maintain good quality of life.
This finding was congruent with the finding of
Qunnapiruk L et al.
13
which found that social
support and the self-esteem factors had large
effect size on quality of life in the elderly.
To promote a good quality of life of the
early retirees, we should start with the promotion
of self-esteem, as well as establishing and
broadening the communicating network of early
retirees to enable them to keep contact and
participate in social activities. These also support
the government is intent to sustain the early
retirement policy.
Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank all the
participants in the study and we would like to
thank Dr. Jittinee Juntarodjana for her kind
support.
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