L.GE1, W.F.YIP1, P.P.CHIEH1, ERIC S.S.CHUA1, RINGO M.H.HO2, EVON Y.W.CHUA3, S.THAM4, IAN Y.O.LEONG5, ANDY H.Y.HO2, W.S.TAN1
National Healthcare Group Corporate Office1, Nanyang Technological University2, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital3, Woodlands Health4, Tan Tock Seng Hospital5
Resilient individuals were found to be more self-reliant, have less healthcare utilisation while having better subjective well-being. With community’s efforts in creating supportive environments to strengthen individuals’ health resilience, this study aimed to identify the factors of health resilience and underlying processes that support individuals to recover from health adversities.
In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 community-dwelling adults (aged 53 – 85 years). Interviews focused on respondents’ experiences of how they prepared for, dealt with, and overcame challenges and impacts of health adversities. Textual data were analysed thematically using a deductive-inductive approach.
The participants were mainly Chinese (n=17, 89%), females (n=14, 74%), and aged 60 years and above (n=15, 79%). Themes emerged were categorized into intrapersonal strength, reactions to illness, and interpersonal resources that were inter-linked and interactively influenced one’s illness and recovery experiences. Intrapersonal strength like individual’s guiding principles in life, personality and experiences across life course closely worked together with reactions to illness like readiness to take responsibility for own health, coping strategies adopted and social participation, as well as availability and accessibility of interpersonal resources especially healthcare and social care services, and social networks in influencing a person’s ability of managing the external and internal demands of the health challenges.
Health resilience is a dynamic process comprised of and influenced by multi-layer interactions across various inter-linked intrapersonal, reaction-related, and interpersonal factors. Understanding the processes and interactions of these factors can inform public health on how to better support them to overcome the ill-effects of health adversities.