Critical Review of Quantitative Research
Successful Aging for the Geriatric Population
Washington Adventist University
Cheryl Robertson MSN CRNP-A
December 16, 2013
Successful Aging for the Geriatric Population
This review will compare and contrast two related nursing research papers: a cross-sectional descriptive quantitative study by Kozar-Westman et al.(2013), which examined the suitability of using the Successful Aging Inventory (SAI) to assess and describe components of successful aging in a specific population of older adults – those who reside in Assisted Living Communities (ALCs). A second a mixed-method study by Bell et al. (2011) investigated the effectiveness of utilizing a virtual Nintendo Wii game as a therapeutic resource for rehabilitation and enhancing quality of life of older adults residing in ALCs.
In this era of technological advances in medicine, the population of adults 65 years or older who are living longer, with or without chronic illnesses, and who will require assistance with activities of daily living will markedly increase. It is not uncommon for seniors to experience stress and loss of independence when they are initially admitted to ALCs (Tracy and DeYoung, 2004). Identification of factors that contribute to psychological and physical well being for these individuals could result in a better understanding of how to formulate and design plans of care and therapeutic interventions to promote successful (and more autonomous) aging for this population going forward.
AUTHOR QUALIFICATIONS AND PROBLEM STATEMENT
The three authors of the Kozar-Westman study all hold advanced nursing degrees – two PhDs and one Master’s (Kozar-Westman). Troutman-Jordan is an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing at University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and Nies is Professor and Director of the School of Nursing at Idaho State University, Pocatello.
In the Bell study, the primary author, Cynthia S. Bell, holds a PhD and OTR/L degree and is Assistant Professor at the Occupational Therapy for Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina. The second author, Elizabeth Fain, Ed.S, MHS, OTR/L, is an instructor at the Occupational Therapy Department at Winston-Salem State University. The remaining authors listed on the study are all students in occupational therapy at the same institution.
The expected population growth of people 65 years or older in the US will inevitably result in an increasing number of individuals who will reside in ALC facilities to meet their basic needs pertaining to activities of daily living, including health and well being. Identification of the factors that constitute successful aging for this population, both from the standpoint of caregivers and from the perception of the constituent population, and possible therapeutic interventions to enhance quality of life, has been an important area of research that has been understudied and not adequately addressed, given the scope of the problem as it exists today.
In the Kozer-Westman study, the authors’ conceptual definition of what constitutes successful aging for older individuals living in ALCs encompasses numerous factors: psychosocial dynamics, coping mechanisms, the ability of an individual to adapt to institutional living, and even an individual’s religious affiliation or concept of spirituality, among others.
By contrast, the conceptual framework which informed the Bell study was that the use of interactive virtual games like the Nintendo Wii, which encourages physical activity using simulated real world scenarios, can provide a valuable psychosocial and physical rehabilitation tool for seniors living in ALCs by giving the participants a chance to lose themselves for a time in the virtual reality and focus on a task which affords the opportunity to increase self confidence and potentially even quality of life....
References: Bell, C., et al. (2011). Effects of Nintendo Wii on Quality of Life, Social Relationships, and Confidence to Prevent Falls. Physical & Occupational Therapy In Geriatrics, 29(3), 213-221.
Howie, L., Troutman-Jordan, M., and Newman, A. M. (2014). Social Support and Successful Aging in Assisted Living Residents. Educational Gerontology, 40(1), 61-70.
Kozar-Westman, M., Troutman-Jordan, M., and Nies, M. A. (2013). Successful Aging Among Assisted Living Community Older Adults. Journal of Nursing Scholarships, 45(3), 238-246.
Tracy JP, and DeYoung S. (2004). Moving to an assisted living facility: exploring the transitional experience of elderly individuals. J Gerontol Nurs. 2004 Oct;30(10):26-33.
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