Originally Published In
Journal of Applied Gerontology
This convergent mixed methods study examined 35 healthy, independent living individuals' (over 85 years) perceptions of their relationship with their primary health provider (PHP) and health practices. The relationship between PHP relationship perceptions and locus of control (LOC), resilience, and self-efficacy was explored through surveys and interviews. The majority indicated they visited their PHP just for preventative care; the number of PHP visits per year was significantly lower than reported for individuals over 85 by the CDC, possible reasons for this finding are provided. A positive relationship between LOC, resiliency, and self-efficacy for the oldest-old was found. Few participants indicated their PHP had discussed normal changes with aging. This study has deepened understanding of the complexity inherent to the healthy oldest-olds' relationship with their PHP. The findings suggest this relationship relates to the PHP's personal characteristics, the elderly patients' personality, and the influence of the accompanying patient escort.