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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 382972, 10 pages
Research Article

Active Ageing: An Empirical Approach to the WHO Model

1Research and Education Unit on Ageing, UnIFai, ICBAS, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, Universidade do Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
2School of Health Sciences, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
3Instituto Superior de Serviço Social do Porto Cooperativa de Ensino Superior de Serviço Social, C.R.L., Avenue Dr. Manuel Teixeira Ruela, 370, 4460-362 Senhora da Hora, Portugal

Received 19 April 2012; Accepted 16 September 2012

Academic Editor: Rocío Fernández-Ballesteros

Copyright © 2012 Constança Paúl et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. In the beginning of the 21st century, the world summit on population taking place in Madrid approved active ageing, WHO (2002) as the main objective of health and social policies for old people. Few studies have been done on the scientific validity of the construct. This study aims to validate the construct of active ageing and test empirically the WHO (2002) model of Active Ageing in a sample of community-dwelling seniors. Methods. 1322 old people living in the community were interviewed using an extensive assessment protocol to measure WHO's determinants of active ageing and performed an exploratory factor analysis followed by a confirmatory factor analyses. Results. We did not confirm the active ageing model, as most of the groups of determinants are either not independent or not significant. We got to a six-factor model (health, psychological component, cognitive performance, social relationships, biobehavioural component, and personality) explaining 54.6% of total variance. Conclusion. The present paper shows that there are objective as well as subjective variables contributing to active ageing and that psychological variables seem to give a very important contribute to the construct. The profile of active ageing is expected to vary between contexts and cultures and can be used to guide specific community and individually based interventions.