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Successful aging: considering non-biomedical constructs

Authors Carver LF, Buchanan D

Received 14 July 2016

Accepted for publication 9 September 2016

Published 11 November 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1623—1630


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Lisa F Carver,1 Diane Buchanan2

1Department of Sociology, Queen’s University Kingston, ON, Canada; 2School of Nursing, Queen’s University Kingston, ON, Canada

Successful aging continues to be applied in a variety of contexts and is defined using a number of different constructs. Although previous reviews highlight the multidimensionality of successful aging, a few have focused exclusively on non-biomedical factors, as was done here.
Methods: This scoping review searched Ovid Medline database for peer-reviewed English-language articles published between 2006 and 2015, offering a model of successful aging and involving research with older adults.
Seventy-two articles were reviewed. Thirty-five articles met the inclusion criteria. Common non-biomedical constructs associated with successful aging included engagement, optimism and/or positive attitude, resilience, spirituality and/or religiosity, self-efficacy and/or self-esteem, and gerotranscendence.
Discussion: Successful aging is a complex process best described using a multidimensional model. Given that the majority of elders will experience illness and/or disease during the life course, public health initiatives that promote successful aging need to employ non-biomedical constructs, facilitating the inclusion of elders living with disease and/or disability.

Keywords: successful aging, resilience, gerotranscendence, engagement, optimism

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