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Increasing the qualitative understanding of optimal functionality in older adults: a focus group based study
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6897-1853
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7678-5954
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8391-1576
Örebro University, School of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0362-0008
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2016 (English)In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 16, no 1, 70Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Decreased independence and loss of functional ability are issues regarded as inevitably connected to old age. This ageism may have negative influences on older adults' beliefs about aging, making it difficult for them to focus on their current ability to maintain a good health. It is therefore important to change focus towards promoting Optimal Functionality (OF). OF is a concept putting the older adult's perspective on health and function in focus, however, the concept is still under development. Hence, the aim was to extend the concept of optimal functionality in various groups of older adults.

Methods: A qualitative study was conducted based on focus group discussions (FGD). In total 6 FGDs were performed, including 37 older adults from three different groups: group 1) senior athletes, group 2) free living older adults, group 3) older adults living in senior living homes. All data was transcribed verbatim and analyzed following the process of deductive content analysis.

Results: The principal outcome of the analysis was "to function as optimally as you possibly can", which was perceived as the core of the concept. Further, the concept of OF was described as multifactorial and several new factors could be added to the original model of OF. Additionally the findings of the study support that all three cornerstones comprising OF have to occur simultaneously in order for the older adult to function as optimal as possible.

Conclusions: OF is a multifaceted and subjective concept, which should be individually defined by the older adult. This study further makes evident that older adults as a group are heterogeneous in terms of their preferences and views on health and should thus be approached as such in the health care setting. Therefore it is important to promote an individualized approach as a base when caring for older adults.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: BioMed Central, 2016. Vol. 16, no 1, 70
Keyword [en]
Older adults, optimal functionality, person centered care, focus group discussions
National Category
Geriatrics
Research subject
Geriatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-49605DOI: 10.1186/s12877-016-0244-zISI: 000372822200002PubMedID: 27007861OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-49605DiVA: diva2:916465
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20110225
Note

Funding Agencies:

Olle Engkvist Byggmästare Foundation

Faculty of Medicine and Health at Örebro University

Available from: 2016-04-02 Created: 2016-04-02 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. 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. 87 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Care Sciences, ISSN 1652-1153 ; 65
Keyword
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
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Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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