Browsing by Author "Tong, Hongmei"
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- ItemA systematic review of late-life spousal bereavement and widowhood, with an emphasis on immigrants in Western countries, and older Chinese adults(2019) Wang, Qianyun; Walsh, Christine A.; Tong, HongmeiSpousal bereavement becomes increasingly common among older-aged individuals, posing considerable challenges to adults in late life. Immigrants, and older Chinese immigrants to Western countries, specifically may experience heightened negative outcomes as a consequence of spousal bereavement, due to migratory stress and marginalization. This systematic review aims to summarize the research literature on spousal bereavement and/or widowhood in late life, with an emphasis on immigrants to Western countries in general and older Chinese adults. The paucity of spousal bereavement adjustment studies on older immigrants, and specifically on older Chinese immigrants, highlights the need for further research on this topic in order to inform the development of culturally sensitive interventions for social work services for this population.
- ItemClose relations matter: the association between depression and refugee status in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)(2020) Lin, Shen (Lamson); Kobayashi, Karen M.; Tong, Hongmei; Davison, Karen M.; Arora, Simran R. A.; Fuller‑Thomson, EsmeThis study examined the prevalence and social determinants of depression among refugee and non-refugee adults aged 45–85 in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Bivariate analyses and multivariable binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. The prevalence of depression was higher in a sample of 272 refugees (22.1%) and 5059 non-refugee immigrants (16.6%), compared to 24,339 native-born Canadians (15.2%). The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of depression for refugees were not attenuated when controlling factors such as, (1) socioeconomic status, (2) health conditions and behaviours, (3) social isolation and online social networking (aORs range from 1.61 to 1.70, p’s < 0.05). However, when social support representing close personal relationships was included, the odds of depression for refugees were reduced to non-significance (aOR = 1.30, 95% CI 0.97–1.74, p = 0.08). Refugees’ excess vulnerability to depression is mainly attributable to lower levels of affectionate social support. Targeted interventions in nurturing supportive interpersonal relationships for refugees are warranted.
- ItemCurrent and future needs of gerontological social work practice in Alberta: findings from the World Café at the Gerontological Symposium in Edmonton, Canada(2022) Azulai, Anna; Tong, Hongmei; Quinn, Kathaleen; Mykietka, KellyThe growing aging population in Canada has multi-faceted psycho-social needs. Social workers are well-positioned to address these needs, despite many challenges. This paper reports findings from the World Café at the Gerontology Symposium in Alberta, Canada, held in 2018. The goal was to learn from social work practitioners, researchers, and educators (N=49) about current and future needs of gerontological social work in Alberta. There were two research questions: 1) What strategies do social workers need on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels to help better serve the growing older adult population in Alberta? (R1) 2) How can social workers promote the value and contribution of gerontological social work within the interprofessional community? (R2) The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Ten R1-related themes emerged: personal traits of a social worker; professional skills; bio-psycho-social needs of older adults; community connections; access to benefits; gerontological social work education; integrated healthcare; aging policy; ageism; and advocacy to strengthen the voice of older adults. The three R2-related themes include strengthening the status of the social work profession; building trust through demonstrated skills; and interprofessional education and practice.
- ItemDepression in middle and older adulthood: the role of immigration, nutrition, and other determinants of health in the Canadian longitudinal study on aging(2019) Davison, Karen M.; Lung, Yu; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Tong, Hongmei; Kobayashi, Karen M.; Fuller‑Thomson, EsmeBackground: Little is known about depression in middle-aged and older Canadians and how it is affected by health determinants, particularly immigrant status. This study examined depression and socio-economic, health, immigration and nutrition-related factors in older adults. Methods: Using weighted comprehensive cohort data from the baseline Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (n = 27,162) of adults aged 45–85, gender-specific binary logistic regression was conducted with the cross-sectional data using the following variables: 1) Depression (outcome) measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Short Depression (CESD-10) rating scale; 2) Immigration status: native-born, recent and mid-term (< 20 years), and long-term immigrants (≥20 years); and 3) covariates: socioeconomic status, physical health (e.g., multi-morbidity), health behavior (e.g., substance use), over-nutrition (e.g., anthropometrics), under-nutrition (e.g., nutrition risk), and dietary intake. Results: The sample respondents were mainly Canadian-born (82.6%), women (50.6%), 56–65 years (58.9%), earning between C$50,000–99,999 (33.2%), and in a relationship (69.4%). When compared to Canadian-born residents, recent, mid-term (< 20 years), and longer-term (≥ 20 years) immigrant women were more likely to report depression and this relationship was robust to adjustments for 32 covariates (adjusted ORs = 1.19, 2.54, respectively, p < 0.001). For women, not completing secondary school (OR = 1.23, p < 0.05), stage 1 hypertension (OR = 1.31, p < 0.001), chronic pain (OR = 1.79, p < 0.001), low fruit/vegetable intakes (OR = 1.33, p < 0.05), and fruit juice (OR = 1.80, p < 0.001), chocolate (ORs = 1.15–1.66, p’s < 0.05), or salty snack (OR = 1.19, p < 0.05) consumption were associated with depression. For all participants, lower grip strength (OR = 1.25, p < 0.001) and high nutritional risk (OR = 2.24, p < 0.001) were associated with depression. For men, being in a relationship (OR = 0.62, p < 0.001), completing postsecondary education (OR = 0.82, p < 0.05), higher fat (ORs = 0.67–83, p’s < 0.05) and omega-3 egg intake (OR = 0.86, p < 0.05) as well as moderate intakes of fruits/vegetables and calcium/high vitamin D sources (ORs = 0.71–0.743, p’s < 0.05) predicted a lower likelihood of depression. For men, chronic conditions (ORs = 1.36–3.65, p’s < 0.001), chronic pain (OR = 1.86, p < 0.001), smoking (OR = 1.17, p < 0.001), or chocolate consumption (ORs = 1.14–1.72, p’s < 0.05) predicted a higher likelihood of depression. Conclusions: The odds of developing depression were highest among immigrant women. Depression in middleaged and older adults is also associated with socioeconomic, physical, and nutritional factors and the relationships differ by sex. These results provide insights for mental health interventions specific to adults aged 45–85.
- ItemDoctoral student mentorship in social work education: a Canadian example(2018) Fulton, Amy; Walsh, Christine A.; Gulbrandsen, Carolyn; Tong, Hongmei; Azulai, AnnaPurpose This paper aims to present a thematic analysis investigating the experiences and reflections of doctoral students in social work at a Canadian university who were mentored in the development of teaching expertise, including course design, delivery and evaluation, by a senior faculty member. Recommendations to others who are considering engaging in doctoral student teaching mentorship are presented. Design/methodology/approach The paper examines the authors’ reflections on their experiences of doctoral student mentorship through their involvement in collaboratively designing, teaching and evaluating an online undergraduate course. The inquiry used a qualitative approach grounded in Schon’s concept of reflexive learning. Findings Based on the results of the thematic analysis of the mentees’ reflections, this paper presents the collaborative teaching mentorship model and discusses how receiving mentorship in teaching facilitated the mentees’ development as social work educators. Originality/value Although quality guidelines in social work education recommend that doctoral students should be adequately prepared for future teaching opportunities, there is limited discussion about doctoral student development as educators within the academic literature, especially from the perspective of doctoral students. There is also limited articulation of specific models of doctoral student mentorship in developing teaching expertise. The authors hope that sharing their reflections on their experiences and describing the collaborative teaching mentorship model will serve to deepen understandings and promote further exploration and development of doctoral student mentorship in teaching.
- ItemEvolving from student to teacher: insights from the Conversation Café on doctoral student mentorship(2019) Azulai, Anna; Fulton, Amy; Walsh, Christine A.; Gulbrandsen, Carolyn; Tong, HongmeiMentorship has been proposed as a key process for preparing doctoral students as effective educators. However, few models have been described in-depth. To address this challenge, four social work doctoral graduates and one senior faculty member shared their insights drawing on their study on collaborative teaching mentorship, reflecting on their mentorship experiences and inviting feedback from the conference audience in the Conversation Café forum. The resultant discussion supported findings from our research and reinforced that more systematic and reflective efforts are needed to adequately prepare doctoral students for future teaching responsibilities. Specific strategies are summarized.
- ItemFormal social participation and utilization of community-based services among urban elderly Chinese living alone in Shanghai, China(2019) Tong, Hongmei; Lai, Daniel W. L.; Walsh, Christine A.This research examined formal social participation among elderly Chinese adults living alone and the association between utilization of community-based services and formal social participation, which refers to participation in employment, volunteer jobs, and social groups. Using a secondary analysis on a survey data from a simple random sample of 228 adults aged 60 and older living alone in a Shanghai neighborhood, it was found that only small percentage of older adults living alone were involved in formal social participation. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that use of community-based services is significantly associated with formal social participation among elderly Chinese living alone. Thus, future policies and programs should focus on strengthening community-based services for elderly Chinese, to more effectively promote and facilitate their social participation.
- ItemNutrition, immigration and health determinants are linked to verbal fluency among Anglophone adults in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)(2020) Fuller‑Thomson, Esme; Saab, Zahraa; Davison, Karen M.; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Taler, Vanessa; Kobayashi, Karen M.; Tong, HongmeiLater-life cognitive impairment is an important health issue; however, little is known about the condition among diverse groups such as immigrants. This study aims to examine whether the healthy immigrant effect exists for verbal fluency, an indicator of cognitive functioning, among anglophone middleaged and older adults in Canada. Methods: Using from the baseline data of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), multiple linear regression was employed to compare associations among immigrants (recent and long-term) and Canadian-born residents without dementia for two verbal fluency tests, the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT) and the Animal Fluency (AF) task. Covariates included socioeconomic, physical health, and dietary intake. Results: Of 8,574 anglophone participants (85.7% Canada-born, 74.8% aged 45-65 years, 81.8% married, 81.9% with a post-secondary degree), long-term immigrants (settled in Canada >20 years) performed significantly better than Canadian-born residents for the COWAT (42.8 vs 40.9) but not the AF task (22.4 vs 22.4). Results of the multivariable adjusted regression analyses showed that long-term immigrants performed better than Canadian-born peers in both the COWAT (B=1.57, 95% CI: 0.80-2.34) and the AF test (B=0.57, 95% CI: 0.19-0.95), but this advantage was not observed among recent immigrants. Other factors associated with low verbal fluency performance included being single, socioeconomically disadvantaged, having hypertension, excess body fat, and consuming low amounts of pulses/nuts or fruit/vegetables. Conclusions: Long-term immigrants had higher verbal fluency test scores than their Canadian-born counterparts. Immigration status, social, health and nutritional factors are important considerations for possible intervention and prevention strategies for cognitive impairment.
- ItemNutritional factors, physical health and immigrant status are associated with anxiety disorders among middle-aged and older adults: findings from baseline data of the Canadian longitudinal study on aging (CLSA)(2020) Davison, Karen M.; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Tong, Hongmei; Kobayashi, Karen M.; Mora-Almanza, Jose G.; Fuller‑Thomson, EsmeThe main purpose of this study was to compare the lifetime prevalence of anxiety disorders among foreign-born and Canadian-born adults in middle and later life. Using baseline data of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (2010–2015), multivariable binary logistic regression was conducted to investigate anxiety diagnosis and immigrant status, while controlling for socio-economic, health-related, and nutrition covariates. Of 26,991 participants (49.3% men, 82.5% Canadian born, 58.5% aged 45–65 years), the overall prevalence of self-reported physician diagnosis of anxiety disorders was 8.5%, with immigrants being lower than Canadian-born respondents (6.4% vs. 9.3%, p < 0.001). After accounting for all covariates, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for anxiety disorders was lower among immigrants (aOR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.67–0.88) compared to those who were Canadian born. Identified risk factors included: younger age (aORs = 1.79–3.52), being a woman (aOR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.07–1.46), single status (aOR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.09–1.48), lower income (aORs = 1.28–2.68), multi-morbidities (aORs = 2.73–5.13), chronic pain (aOR = 1.31, 95% CI: 1.18–1.44), lifetime smoking ≥ 100 cigarettes (aOR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.23–1.48), BMI < 18.5 (aOR = 1.87, 95% CI: 1.20–2.92), body fat ≥ 26% (aORs = 1.28–1.79), fruit and vegetable intake (<3/day; aORs = 1.24–1.26), and pastry consumption (>1/day; aOR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.12–1.15) (p < 0.05). Targeting socio-economic and nutritional risk factors may reduce the burden of anxiety disorders in middle and late adulthood.
- ItemPost‑traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mid‑age and older adults difers by immigrant status and ethnicity, nutrition, and other determinants of health in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)(2021) Davison, Karen M.; Hyland, Christina E.; West, Meghan L.; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Tong, Hongmei; Kobayashi, Karen M.; Fuller‑Thomson, EsmeThis study aimed to address knowledge gaps about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mid-age and older adults, with particular attention to the relationship of PTSD with nutrition and with ethnicity and immigrant status.
- ItemPsychological distress in older adults linked to immigrant status, dietary intake, and physical health conditions in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)(2020) Davison, Karen M.; Lung, Yu; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Tong, Hongmei; Kobayashi, Karen M.; Fuller‑Thomson, EsmeBackground Psychological distress increases mortality risk; there is little knowledge about its prevelance and contributory factors in older populations. Methods Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging baseline data (2010–2015) were analyzed to examine the relationship between Kessler's Psychological Distress Scale-K10 and immigrant status (recent/mid-term,<20 years; long-term, ≥20 years; Canadian-born). Covariates included socioeconomic and health-related variables. Stratified by sex, two series of multinomial logistic regression were used to calculate the likelihood of having mild distress (20 < K10 score ≤24) and moderate/severe distress (K10 score >24). Results Respondents (n = 25,700) were mainly Canadian-born (82.8%), 45–65 years (59.3%), earning cut-off; OR=1.32, 99% CI 1.02–1.70), and higher nutritional risk (ORs = 2.16–3.31, p's <0.001). For men, psychological distress was associated with under-nutrition (grip strength56 years, ORs=0.19–0.79, p's<0.01), lower income (≤C$149,000, ORs = 1.68–7.79, p's<0.01), multi-morbidities (ORs = 1.67–4.70, p's<0.01), chronic pain (ORs = 1.67–3.09, p's<0.001) and higher intake of chocolate (≥ 0.6 bar/week, ORs=1.61–2.23, p's<0.001). Limitations Cross-sectional design prohibits causal inferences. Conclusions Nutritional factors, immigration status, social, and health-related problems are strongly associated with psychological distress among midlife and older adults.
- ItemRecruiting challenges and students’ involvement in a project to understand civic engagement of aging Asian immigrants in Edmonton(2018) Lamichhane, Bhupendra; Tong, HongmeiSupporting aging immigrants to fully engage in mainstream social and political life is a significant challenge for policy makers, service providers, and communities in Canada. Asian immigrants constitute the largest majority of immigrants in Canada over decades. A contextualized understanding of civic participation in aging Asian immigrants is of critical importance to support broad, active aging and social integration goals. Based on the research rationale, objectives and gaps identified in the literature review, this study will present a research project that aims to explore civic participation of aging immigrants from Asia, specifically China, India, and Philippines, living in Edmonton, Alberta. This research draws on the Civic Voluntarism Model and on Bourdieu's Theory of Practice, which views civic participation as a multi-dimensional concept influenced by individual social positions, family and community, and historical, cultural, political, and societal factors. Mixed methods research will be adopted, and will involve in-depth interviews with aging immigrants, focus group with immigrant and Canadian-born older adults, and a survey of aging immigrant participants in focus groups. This presentation will overview the research project and identify the multiple challenges in recruiting targeted participants from different ethnic groups in the initial stage and strategies adopted to solve these challenges. This presentation will inform future directions and approaches in the research of diverse ethnic aging immigrants. This presentation will also contribute to research method education and training for in undergraduate students at teaching-focused universities.
- ItemRefugee status is associated with double the odds of psychological distress in mid-to-late life: findings from the Canadian longitudinal study on aging(2020) Tong, Hongmei; Lung, Yu; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Kobayashi, Karen M.; Davison, Karen M.; Agbeyaka, Senyo; Fuller‑Thomson, EsmePsychological distress is associated with a range of negative outcomes including lower quality of life and an increased risk of premature all-cause mortality. The prevalence of, and factors associated with, psychological distress among middle-aged and older Canadians are understudied. Using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) baseline data, this study examined factors associated with psychological distress among adults between 45 and 85 years, including refugee status and a wide range of sociodemographic, health-related and social support characteristics. Psychological distress was measured by Kessler’s Psychological Distress Scale-K10 scores. Bivariate and multivariable binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. The prevalence of psychological distress was significantly higher among the 244 refugees (23.8%), compared to 23,149 Canadian-born Canadians (12.8%) and 4,765 non-refugee immigrants (12.6%), despite the fact that the average time the refugees had lived in Canada was more than four decades. The results of the binary logistic regression analysis indicated refugees had twice the age-sex adjusted odds of psychological distress (OR = 2.31, 95% CI: 1.74, 3.07). Even after further adjustment for 16 potential risk factors, a significant relationship remained between refugee status and psychological distress (OR = 1.56; 95% CI = 1.12, 2.17). Other significant factors associated with psychological distress included younger age, female gender, visible minority status, lower household income, not having an undergraduate degree, multimorbidities, chronic pain, and lack of social support. Policies and interventions addressing psychological distress among Canadians in mid- to later life should target refugees and other vulnerable groups.
- ItemSocial inclusion and immigrant older adults(2021) Tong, Hongmei; Walsh, Christine A.; Bouchard, Nathalie; Lai, Daniel W. L.Social inclusion is crucial to older adults as it facilitates them to stay actively; gives them a sense of belonging, purpose, and accomplishment; and enhances their quality of life. Social inclusion also offers opportunities for older adults to continue contributing to the development of society based on their needs, preferences, and abilities. Given the population of immigrants has grown globally, and immigrant older adults are often neglected in policy making, this chapter will discuss the concepts of social inclusion and social exclusion in the context of immigration and specifically for immigrant older adults based on current literature and previous studies. Policy implications and practice recommendations will be outlined.