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Exploring the concept of optimal functionality in old age
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (Nutrition and Physical Activity Research Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6897-1853
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (Nutrition and Physical Activity Research Centre; Nutrition Gut Brain Interactions Research Centre)
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (Nutrition and Physical Activity Research Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2873-4247
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden. (Nutrition and Physical Activity Research Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9209-5179
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, ISSN 1178-2390, E-ISSN 1178-2390, Vol. 7, p. 69-79Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Aging is characterized by loss of function and represents a perspective that puts the focus on the negative aspects of aging. Thus, it is fundamental to shift the focus from loss of function to maintaining good health and personal satisfaction through life; in other words, to promote optimal functionality at a level appropriate for older adults. However, it is not yet known what constitutes optimal functionality from the older adult's own perspective.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the concept of optimal functionality in old age from the older adult's perspective (ie, people over 65 years of age) in industrialized Western countries.

METHODS: We undertook a scoping review and searched two electronic databases (PubMed and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature [CINAHL]) from January 2002 to July 2013 for scientific studies, using the key search term personal satisfaction. In total, 25 scientific studies were analyzed.

RESULTS: Only six of the included articles applied a qualitative methodology. By analyzing the results of these articles, three major themes were identified as cornerstones in the concept of optimal functionality at old age: 1) self-related factors (eg, mental well-being); 2) body-related factors (eg, physical well-being); and 3) external factors equal to demographic and environmental factors.

CONCLUSION: There is a lack of qualitative studies in the current literature, and hence of what constitutes optimal functionality from the older adult's perspective. The results outlined in this review identify three cornerstones (self-related factors, body-related factors, and external factors) of what constitutes optimal functionality at old age. However, it is vital that these findings are taken further and are evaluated through qualitative studies to reflect older adults' opinions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dove Medical Press , 2014. Vol. 7, p. 69-79
Keywords [en]
optimal functionality, aging, personal satisfaction
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Medicine; Nursing Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-33866DOI: 10.2147/JMDH.S55178PubMedID: 24516333Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84893293812OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-33866DiVA, id: diva2:698157
Available from: 2014-02-20 Created: 2014-02-20 Last updated: 2018-06-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. "The gut matters": an interdisciplinary approach to health and gut function in older adults
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"The gut matters": an interdisciplinary approach to health and gut function in older adults
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Improved life expectancy is a triumph of modern medicine. However, today’s senior citizens are predicted to soon consume 75% of the available health-care resources. Identifying new strategies to promote a healthy ageing process has thus become a priority. In contribution to the research field of healthy ageing this thesis is focused on the health and gut function of older adults. Paper I explored ‘optimal functionality’; a new approach to put the older adult’s own perspectives on health in focus. According to the results a plethora of factors related to the body, the self and the external environment needs to be considered in order to create a comprehensive understanding of the health experience in old age. Paper II characterised senior orienteering athletes as a new model of healthy ageing, due to their significantly better percived health as compared to other free-living older adults; in particular they report better gut health. As the gut is important to health maintenance and immune function paper III explored inflammation and oxidative stress in senior orienteering athletes, and older adults with gut problems, generally finding low levels in both groups. Subsequently, Paper IV investigated the health status of free-living older adults in Örebro County and also reports the results from a randomised controlled trial evaluating the effect of a probiotic supplement on self-reported health and gut symptoms. Two-thirds of the included older adults reported gut problems, however, the probiotic intervention failed to show any effects.

This thesis provides additional perspectives on older adults health and gut function, by concluding that 1) optimal functionality may be a useful concept to map areas of importance to the older adult’s health experience, 2) senior orienteers may be regarded as a suitable model to study healthy ageing, 3) the prevalence of gut problems among the general population of Swedish older adults is high, but was not improved by probiotic supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2016. p. 81
Series
Örebro Studies in Medicine, ISSN 1652-4063 ; 140
Keywords
healthy ageing, gut health, old age, senior orienteering athletes
National Category
General Practice Geriatrics
Research subject
Geriatrics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-49072 (URN)978-91-7529-130-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-04-22, Prismahuset, Hörsal 1, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-03-10 Created: 2016-03-10 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
2. To be at one's best: The evolution of Optimal Functionality and its possible implementation in an ICT-platform
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To be at one's best: The evolution of Optimal Functionality and its possible implementation in an ICT-platform
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

At the Nutrition and Physical Activity Research Centre for Optimal Health and Functionality through Life (NUPARC), a research gap was uncovered regarding the concept optimal functionality based on the older adult’s own perspective. The overall aim was to explore the concept of optimal functionality among older adults and the possibility of creating and developing an ICT-platform to measure it. Method: An existing cohort from NUPARC was used for recruitment in studies I-III and to some extent study IV. A scoping study design and framework was adopted for the inclusion of the articles in Study I. Study II had a descriptive design. Six focus group discussions were conducted and analysed using qualitative deductive content analysis to extend the qualitative understanding. Study III used a phenomenological approach describing the experience of mental health and its impact on the ability to function as optimally as possible. Six interviews were analysed using Giorgi’s phenomenological approach. Study IV was a feasibility study and included 8 older adults using an ICTplatform for a period of four weeks. Results: Optimal Functionality comprises three major corner stones: Body-related factors, Self-related factors and External factors (I) accompanied by nine aspects, and according to older adults it is a matter of functioning as optimally as possible (II). The three major cornerstones are intricately linked and all but the mental aspects were included in the discussions (II). Life situations affecting mental health, consequences of mental health and strategies for maintaining good mental health were described by older adults as having an impact on mental health and affecting their ability to function as optimally as possible (III). The older adults managed the usage of an ICT-tool well and it was perceived as meaningful (IV). Conclusion: Optimal functionality is holistic, subjective, dynamic and applicable to all older adults. Identification of the factors involved can help the older adults on their path to health. An ICT-platform can facilitate the identification of the factors for optimal functionality and the eventual measurement of it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2016. p. 87
Series
Örebro Studies in Care Sciences, ISSN 1652-1153 ; 65
Keywords
older adults, optimal functionality, scoping review, focus group, qualitative content analysis, mental health, interviews, phenomenological approach, ICT-platform
National Category
Other Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-49577 (URN)978-91-7529-138-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-05-20, Teknikhuset, Hörsal T, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Algilani, SamalÖstlund-Lagerström, LinaKihlgren, AnnicaBlomberg, KarinBrummer, Robert JanSchoultz, Ida

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Algilani, SamalÖstlund-Lagerström, LinaKihlgren, AnnicaBlomberg, KarinBrummer, Robert JanSchoultz, Ida
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