Background: Achieving ego-integrity involves fully accepting oneself and is important in quality of later life, but the concept of ego-integrity in old adults has not yet been well articulated in nursing practice. Objectives: This study aimed to elucidate the concept of ego-integrity in late adulthood in terms of the range of meanings this concept embraces within contemporary Korean society. Design: Q-methodology was applied, which represents a method for measuring subjectivity. Settings: The study was performed in a community setting in the Republic of Korea. Participants: The participants were 26 old adults, aged 65-70 years, living in the community in Korea. Two inclusion criteria were applied: (1) the participants had to be literate and competent to ensure that they were able to sort the cards stating the Q-samples in a forced distributive manner, and (2) the participants were regarded by researchers as having achieved ego-integrity in late adulthood as described in the literature. Methods: Data obtained from June 2004 to December 2004 from a sample of 26 older adults were analyzed by PCQ software (a factor analysis program for the Q-technique) to delineate the factors of ego-integrity in late adulthood. Results: A four-factor solutions for the study subjects indicates that there were differences in the frames of reference in achieving ego-integrity in late adulthood. The frames of reference of the four factors were: (1) a satisfactory connection between the generations, (2) enjoying a peaceful life, (3) peace through acceptance, and (4) achieving a praiseworthy life in spite of adversity. Conclusion: The projected property of ego-integrity in late adulthood is closely related to cultural and psycho-social environmental influences throughout the life span. Culturally sensitive life-reviews methods need to be developed to intervene in the specific ways that individual older adults achieve their own ego-integrity throughout their life experiences.
- Late adulthood
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