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Open Access Research article

Value priorities and their relations with quality of life in the Baby Boomer generation of Lithuanian nurses: a cross-sectional survey

Aurelija Blazeviciene* and Irayda Jakusovaite

Author Affiliations

Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania

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BMC Nursing 2007, 6:10  doi:10.1186/1472-6955-6-10

Published: 8 November 2007

Abstract

Background

The understanding of the values of nurses is especially important, since nurses constitute 80% of workforce in the healthcare system in Lithuania. In addition to that, nursing is one of the major constituents of healthcare. The aim of this study was to determine what values predominate in the cohort of Baby Boomer nurses, and to evaluate the relation of these values with quality of life using M. Rokeach's terminal and instrumental values scale. M.Rokeach distinguished terminal values (such as world peace, wisdom, and happiness), which are preferred end-states of existence, and instrumental values (such as responsibility and cooperation), which are preferred modes of conduct.

Methods

We performed a representative anonymous questionnaire-based inquiry of nurses working in regional hospitals of Lithuania. The nurses who participated in the study were distributed into four work cohorts: the Veterans, the Baby Boomers, the Generation Xers, and the Generation Nexters. The majority of the nurses belonged to the Baby Boomers and the Generation Xers cohorts. Since in Lithuania, like in the whole Europe, the representatives of the Baby Boomers generation are predominating among working people, we selected this cohort (N = 387) for the analysis. The survey data was processed using the SPSS statistical software package

Results

The main values in life were family security, tranquility, and a sense of accomplishment. However, such values as true friendship, equality, and pleasurable and leisured life were seen as rather insignificant. The most important instrumental values were honesty, skillfulness, and responsibility. Our study showed a statistically significant (albeit weak) correlation between the QOL and terminal values such as the sense of accomplishment, tranquility, equality, and pleasure, as well as the instrumental value – obedience. We detected a statistically significant relationship between good QOL and satisfaction with oneself, relationships with the surrounding people, and friends' support.

Conclusion

The findings of our study showed that, although Lithuania was under a totalitarian regime for 50 years, both the terminal and the instrumental values of the Baby Boomers generation are very similar to those of the same generation in other countries.