Professionals’ perspectives towards health promotion in residential aged care: an explorative study in Austria

Marent, Benjamin, Wieczorek, Christina and Krajic, Karl (2018) Professionals’ perspectives towards health promotion in residential aged care: an explorative study in Austria. Health Promotion International, 33 (2). pp. 268-278. ISSN 0957-4824

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Following the trend in most developed countries, in Austria the oldest old are the fastest growing population group. Among this group, there is a high prevalence of multimorbidity, functional impairment, dementia and psychiatric conditions. While health promotion (HP) has been considered relevant in coping with the challenges of an aging population, it has so far been viewed as a foreign concept in relation to the oldest old, especially those living in residential aged care (RAC) facilities. Although there is an acknowledgement that HP should be integrated into routine nursing, there has been little re- search on how professionals working with RAC interpret and implement HP. In this study, 13 semi- structured interviews were carried out with professionals from four major Austrian RAC providers. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. The findings show that, typically, professionals understand HP as a concept that is oriented towards maintaining potentials and resources, thereby promoting self-determination, autonomy and social integration, including frail and functionally impaired elderly residents. However, data analysis also revealed a gap between the conceptual understanding and positive attitudes towards HP and its implementation in practice. Implementation of HP seems to occur in isolated cases, related to specific health issues. It seems that more complex HP approaches, especially the ‘settings approach’, are hardly practiced. To implement more comprehensive and systematic HP in Austrian RAC, support from external HP agencies as well as changes in financial incentives are needed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: health promotion, old age, residential care, concepts of health promotion
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Benjamin Marent
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 15:06
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2020 15:30

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