Adult Children's Migration and Health-Related Quality of Life Among Older Nepali Adults

Saruna Ghimire, Devendra Singh, Sara J McLaughlin, Dhirendra Nath, Hannah McCarren, Janardan Subedi

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Traditionally, adult children have served as primary caretakers and providers for older Nepali adults. However, out-migration of adult children for employment and other opportunities is increasing. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in older Nepali adults in general and in the context of adult children's migration is poorly understood. This study aims to assess HRQOL of older Nepali adults and its relationship with adult children's migration. We used existing cross-sectional survey data on 260 older adults from Krishnapur municipality, which has witnessed a high rate of adult migration. HRQOL, quantified using the SF-12 scale, is expressed in terms of a physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) health component. A higher PCS and MCS score, each ranging from 0 to 100, indicates better physical and mental health, respectively. The correlates of HRQOL were assessed in simple and multiple linear regression. Participants had suboptimal HRQOL [mean (± SD): PCS = 40.4 ± 9.2 and MCS = 45.2 ± 7.7]. After adjusting for covariates, adult children's migration was associated with lower MCS scores (β: -2.33, 95%CI: -4.21, -0.44). Individuals with more than one child had higher MCS scores (β: 2.14, 95%CI: 0.19, 4.09). Females (β: -3.64, 95%CI: -7.21, -0.06) and those with a history of unemployment (β: -6.36, 95%CI: -10.57, -2.15) had lower PCS scores than their respective counterparts. The presence of chronic conditions was associated with significantly lower PCS and MCS scores. Our findings suggest that adult children's migration may negatively affect HRQOL among older Nepali adults, specifically their psychological well-being. Further research investigating potential moderating factors that may serve as important buffers is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Early online date12 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Feb 2024

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