Subjective views of aging (VoA) refer to individuals’ perceptions, attitudes, or expectations of their own age and aging process (e.g., subjective age - the age individuals feel), as well as of old age and older adults in general (e.g., ageist attitudes). The effect of VoA on health outcomes is well established, yet this effect was rarely examined among older adults undergoing hospitalization or rehabilitation. Moreover, the additive effect of healthcare personnel’s ageist attitudes on treatment outcomes is unknown. Accordingly, these effects were examined within older adults hospitalized for osteoporotic fractures – a frequent late-life condition with cardinal functional implications. Establishing the effect of patients’ and healthcare personnel’s VoA on rehabilitation outcomes following fractures would pave the way to account for VoA when designing rehabilitation protocols and interventions. Study 1 (N=147 patients, mean age=79.3) showed that feeling younger at admission to hospitalization predicted better rehabilitation outcomes at discharge (assessed by the Functional Independence Measure). The reverse effect of functional independence at admission to hospitalization on subjective age at discharge was non-significant. Study 2 (N=52 patients, mean age=81.8, and N=55 hospital staff members, mean age=32.3) replicated these findings with additional VoA indices, and further demonstrated that rehabilitation outcomes were better when occupational and physical therapists reported low levels of ageist attitudes. The findings suggest that patients’ and healthcare personnel’s VoA are relevant to rehabilitation outcomes. Findings suggest that successful rehabilitation may be promoted by reducing negative VoA.
Amit Shrira, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
About the Presenter(s)
Professor Amit Shrira is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at Bar-Ilan University in Israel
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