Population priorities for successful aging: a randomized vignette experiment

Whitley, E. , Benzeval, M. and Popham, F. (2020) Population priorities for successful aging: a randomized vignette experiment. Journal of Gerontology: Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 75(2), pp. 293-302. (doi: 10.1093/geronb/gby060) (PMID:29878183) (PMCID:PMC6974399)

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Objectives: Ageing populations have led to increasing interest in “successful ageing” but there is no consensus as to what this entails. We aimed to understand the relative importance to the general population of six commonly-used successful ageing dimensions (disease, disability, physical functioning, cognitive functioning, interpersonal engagement, productive engagement). Method: 2,010 British men and women were shown vignettes describing an older person with randomly determined favourable/unfavourable outcomes for each dimension and asked to score (0-10) how successfully the person was ageing. Results: Vignettes with favourable successful ageing dimensions were given higher mean scores than those with unfavourable dimensions. The dimensions given greatest importance were cognitive function (difference (95% CI) in mean scores: 1.20 (1.11, 1.30)) and disability (1.18 (1.08, 1.27)), while disease (0.73 (0.64, 0.82)) and productive engagement (0.58 (0.49, 0.66)) were given the least importance. Older respondents gave increasingly greater relative importance to physical function, cognitive function, and productive engagement. Discussion: Successful ageing definitions that focus on disease do not reflect the views of the population in general and older people in particular. Practitioners and policy makers should be aware of older people’s priorities for ageing and understand how these differ from their own.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whitley, Dr Elise and Popham, Dr Frank and Benzeval, Dr Michaela
Authors: Whitley, E., Benzeval, M., and Popham, F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Gerontology: Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1758-5368
Published Online:06 June 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 75(2): 293-302
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU