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Original Article

J Korean Gerontol Nurs. 2014 Dec;16(3):201-209. Korean.
Published online Dec 31, 2014.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17079/jkgn.2014.16.3.201
© 2014 Korean Gerontological Nursing Society
Uncertainty in Elderly Women with Osteoarthritis: Relationship to Pain, Self-care Agency and Health Conservation
Jiran Nam,*1and Kiwol Sung2
1Department of Nursing, Yong-Nam Foreign Language College, Gyeongsan, Korea.
2College of Nursing, Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, Korea.

*Corresponding author: Nam, Jiran. Department of Nursing, Yong-Nam Foreign Language College, 780-9 Namcheon-ro, Namcheon-myeon, Gyeongsan 712-717, Korea. Tel: +82-53-810-0168, Fax: +82-53-810-7779, Email: sik4300@hanmail.net
Received February 26, 2014; Revised July 12, 2014; Accepted August 21, 2014.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of uncertainty to pain, self-care agency and health conservation and to identify factors affecting uncertainty in elderly women with osteoarthritis.


Participants, 156 women aged 65 years or older, were outpatients at A orthopedic clinic in D city and were diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Data were collected using the Visual Analogue Scale (pain), Self-As-Carer Inventory (Geden & Taylor, 1988), Health Conservation Scale (Sung, 2005a) and Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale (Mishel, 1988) and analyzed using t-test, one-way ANOVA, Pearson's correlation, and stepwise multiple regression.


Uncertainty was positively correlated with the degree of pain and negatively correlated with self-care agency and health conservation in elderly women with osteoarthritis. Health conservation was the strongest predictor (β=-.28) of uncertainty in elderly women with osteoarthritis, followed by assistance from spouse (β=-.25) and monthly allowance (β=-.24). These variables accounted for 29% of the total variance in uncertainty.


Findings from the study suggest the need to develop and utilize nursing interventions targeting improvements in health conservation to reduce uncertainty in elderly women with osteoarthritis.

Keywords: Uncertainty, Pain, Self-care, Health.


Table 1
Differences in Uncertainty according to General Characteristics of Participants (N=156)

Table 2
Differences in Uncertainty according to Health Condition of Participants (N=156)

Table 3
Pain, Self-care Agency, Health Conservation and Uncertainty in Elderly Women with Osteoarthritis (N=156)

Table 4
Correlations among Pain, Self-care Agency, Health Conservation and Uncertainty in Elderly Women with Osteoarthritis (N=156)

Table 5
Predictors on Uncertainty in Elderly Women with Osteoarthritis (N=156)

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