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The perspectives of successful ageing among older adults aged 75+: a systematic review with a narrative synthesis of mixed studies

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Document pages: 37 pages

Abstract: Older adults 75 and above are a fast-growing segment of the population. However, few studies have investigated what it means to age successfully from their perspective. This group of older adults face challenges that might characteristically differ from younger older adults. Therefore, the aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the perspectives of older adults aged 75 and above regarding what it means to age successfully and to summarise the findings through a narrative synthesis. We also aimed to provide a snapshot of inhibitors and facilitators to achieve successful ageing. A systematic review of the 75+ older adults’ perspectives was conducted across PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science and PsycINFO. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods original peer-reviewed studies were included. After reviewing 4,661 articles, 15 articles met the inclusion criteria and 15 themes were identified. They ranged from biomedical components such as physical functioning to psychosocial components such as relationships, reflections on life and past experiences, preparations for death and environmental factors. The findings revealed that as people age, their definition of successful ageing changes, expanding the current conceptualisation of successful ageing by including additional factors that can act as facilitators and or inhibitors, such as death and environmental factors. The findings also highlight the need for further research on theory development by considering age-related differences and the perspectives of under-studied populations.

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