Relationship of general trust with individual health and life related factors among frail elderly residents at home in Hokkaido rural areas in Japan


General Trust (GT), defined as a default expec-tation of other people’s trustworthiness, is assumed to be a predictor for promotion of health and welfare in individuals as well as for strengthening of social capital in the community. An improvement of health and quality of life of the elderly is recently a crucial agenda. Thus, the purpose of the study was to explore which factors regarding health and life associated with GT among frail elderly people living at homes in Japanese rural area. The study selected the subjects who were designated within three mildest degrees in seven stages of long-term care levels and who met at an item and more in the national basic check-list. 209 participants were interviewed by trained health personnel using a structured questionnaire. GT was measured by a dichotomous outcome of inquiring “do you trust people in general?”. In the univariable analysis, educational status (p = 0.004), activity competence index including instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) (p = 0.020), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) (p = 0.029) and Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) (p = 0.010) were significantly related to GT. By logistic regression analysis using a stepwise method with a like-lihood ratio, educational status alone was sig-nificantly associate with GT (p = 0.010, odds ratio = 1.195 [95% confidence interval; 1.043 - 1.371]). Health related factors had nothing to do with GT. Our finding suggested that the higher educated elderly might have had more opportunities to encounter the others and more indispensability to deliberately discern their trustworthiness than the lower, and consequently had higher GT through social intelligence being strengthened.

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Yuasa, M. , Ikeno, T. and Ukawa, S. (2012) Relationship of general trust with individual health and life related factors among frail elderly residents at home in Hokkaido rural areas in Japan. Health, 4, 327-333. doi: 10.4236/health.2012.46054.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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