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Assessing Stress in Relocation Using Biopsychosocial Mixed Methods

By: Published: 2020 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases: Medicine and Health
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This study of stress experienced during the transition from one’s own home into an independent/assisted senior housing community among older women was conducted using a mixed-methods approach that included (a) qualitative data collection via time-use diaries and open-ended interview questions, (b) quantitative data collected through structured interview questions and empirically validated scales that measured stress perceptions and coping behaviors, and (c) biological measures of stress reactivity through salivary cortisol. Designed to capture the adaptation period, the study was conducted longitudinally with repeated measures consisting of three interviews, six time diaries, and six sets of saliva collection beginning within 1 month of the move through the first 6 months in residence. The data allowed for triangulation of stressful events, perceptions of stress, and physiological reactivity, and yielded interesting preliminary results. Challenges included veracity of self-report responses, correct timing of saliva collection per protocol specifications, and maintenance of researcher–participant boundaries.

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