Main Article Content
Nong Khon subdistrict is a semi-urban area in Ubon Ratchathani province that confronts health problems especially in elderly persons who have diabetes or hypertension due to changes in lifestyle and consumption behavior. This research aimed to (1) develop a learning process and enhance participation from many sectors in using local wisdom for solving health problems, (2) change health behaviors, and (3) improve well-being conditions, all for the elderly with diabetes and hypertension in the community in Nong Khon subdistrict. The participatory action research (PAR) was conducted in 21 research volunteers, from whom quantitative data were collected using a questionnaire about participation (with multiple choice and open-ended questions) and in 96 older persons with diabetes and hypertension, from whom quantitative data were collected using a questionnaire and a measurement form, while qualitative data were collected using an observation form, an interview guide and a lessons-learned synthesis framework. Data were then analyzed with descriptive statistics and paired samples t-test. The results revealed that: (1) local wisdom was a good driver for self-care in the elderly and PAR was a significant mechanism for all stakeholders’ participation in enhancing their learning process, making behavior changes al the individual and macro levels; (2) the elderly group showed some changes in their health behaviors with an increase in fruit and vegetable consumptions and a decrease in salty diet intake; their BMI and waist circumferences significantly dropped; while their mental health scores rose significantly; and (3) their social quality of life also changed from moderate to high levels. It is thus suggested that, for future research, additional data should be collected to look thoroughly into which behavioral changes really contribute to the better health condition of elderly persons.
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