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A review of research with elderly people as respondents reported in occupational therapy journals
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Health, Activity, Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Health, Activity, Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Society, Diversity, Identity . Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, ISSN 1103-8128, Vol. 15, no 2, 116-126 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to review research presented in occupational therapy journals with the elderly as respondents. With an increasing number of elderly people in society research including the elderly should play a vital role within occupational therapy especially since emphasis on subjective experience is an important factor in the core constructs of occupation. Through a review of six occupational therapy journals, covering the period 2001--2006, it was discovered that 15% of the total number of articles included the elderly as respondents. The published articles with the elderly as respondents were mainly quantitative with the most frequent subject being instrument developing and testing. Most studies had a population group of mixed ages, making it hard to draw conclusions concerning the elderly population. The conclusion is that more research of a qualitative nature reflecting the subjective perspectives of the elderly is needed, especially regarding the oldest age group since this is the fastest growing and there is still limited knowledge regarding their perspective on matters concerning their everyday lives and their doings. Technological developments are implied to benefit elderly people but more research and discussion is needed on how this will affect both the elderly and occupational therapy theory and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 15, no 2, 116-126 p.
Keyword [en]
Aged, occupational therapy research, oldest old, review, subjective experience, user perspective
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17560DOI: 10.1080/11038120701858804PubMedID: 18570000OAI: diva2:210351
Available from: 2009-04-01 Created: 2009-04-01 Last updated: 2009-05-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Everyday life amongst the oldest old: descriptions of doings and possession and use of technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Everyday life amongst the oldest old: descriptions of doings and possession and use of technology
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The general aim of the present thesis is to expand knowledge about the everyday lives of the oldest old (85+) living independently and to improve and deepen the understanding of their doings and possession and use of technology. The everyday lives of the oldest old represent, in many aspects an under-researched area, partly because this age group is seldom included in national surveys regarding living conditions and time use.

This thesis comprises four papers. In paper I the extent and direction of research regarding elderly people is investigated through an examination of articles published in six well-reputed and well-established occupational therapy journals. Fifteen percent of the articles published between 2001 and 2006 included elderly people to some extent. Only five articles were about the oldest old. Most articles had a quantitative approach and concerned instrument development and testing. The findings show that articles concerning the oldest old are sparse, especially regarding their subjective experience. The following three papers are based on data derived from an empirical project based on interviews and observations with 18 oldest old individuals. Paper II explores how individuals over 85 years of age themselves describe and experience daily life. „Doing everyday life‟ is described through five overarching themes: „Experiencing being old‟, „Doings in everyday life‟, „Patterns of the day‟, „Altered doings‟ and „The importance of time‟. The daily doings are described as consisting of the usual things that have always been done, although how the doings are performed have changed. To do something is stressed as important for well-being, and a strong motivation to manage everyday doings on one‟s own is expressed. Paper III explores and describes the experiences and relations to technology in everyday doings of the oldest old as they themselves describe it. Four categories; „Perception of technology‟, „Technology holdings‟, „Handling technology‟ and „Compensatory technology in old age‟ emerged from the material. Technology needs to be integrated into the daily routines for it to be used. A modest and pragmatic attitude towards technology stands out, showing a discrepancy with public policy, which implies that technology will enhance independence and participation for elderly people. In paper IV, data from a younger group (-85) is included to describe, compare and discuss how elderly people belonging to different age cohorts (-85 and 85+) relate to their physical environment, primarily technological objects used in the home, and to examine how this is influenced by experiences and possession of technology over the life course. Possession and use of technological objects are similar for both groups over the life course from the parental home through the family time, although in the senior citizen time differences in technology possession and use appear. At higher ages the chronological age becomes a factor in deciding about upgrading or downsizing of the technology room; this is described as an „aging turn‟.

The conclusions drawn are that to continue and perform the everyday doings as one has always done is important in old age. At high ages downsizing of the technology rooms is an important issue and new technological objects need to be incorporated in everyday doings in order to be used and perceived as beneficial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2009. 68 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1119
Odest old, ageing research, everyday technology, gerontechnology, environmental gerontology, everyday life, ADL, occupational therapy
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-17564 (URN)978-91-7393-648-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-04-29, K1, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-04-01 Created: 2009-04-01 Last updated: 2009-05-08Bibliographically approved

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