Aging well with psychosis

Smart, E.L. and Berry, K. and Palmier-Claus, J. and Brown, L.J.E. (2021) Aging well with psychosis. Journal of Aging Studies, 57: 100925. ISSN 0890-4065

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Background and objectives: Despite the unique challenges faced by people living with a severe mental illness, little work has been done to understand how these populations can age well. This study therefore aimed to explore the views of mid to older aged adults living with a psychosis on what it means to age well, and how they might be supported in this endeavor. Research design and methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with sixteen individuals (age 50–74 years) diagnosed with psychosis-related disorders (e.g. schizophrenia). Inductive thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Results: Four themes were identified: (i) Engagement with Life - referring to participating in, and maintaining, activities that bring satisfaction and value; (ii) Attitude to Life and Aging - referring to a positive attitude and outlook, and accepting aging-related challenges; (iii) Health and Wellbeing - relating to keeping as physically and mentally fit as possible and (iv) Social Connections - referring to both personal and professional relationships, and feeling heard and understood by others. Discussion and implications: Whilst there were clear parallels between these results and those reported from other populations, participants aging with a psychosis revealed challenges, perceptions, and nuances that were unique to their situation. The importance of relationships with professionals, developing a mastery over their mental health difficulties, and the continued impact of stigma on aging well were highlighted. This suggests that approaches that target external societal factors, as well as therapeutic interventions focused on the individual, may help this population to age well.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Aging Studies
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Aging Studies. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Aging Studies, 57, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2021.100925
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? psychosispsychosocialqualitativeschizophreniasuccessful agingissues, ethics and legal aspectshealth policy ??
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Deposited On:
13 Apr 2021 10:50
Last Modified:
05 Jan 2024 00:27