Journal of Aging Research has recently been accepted into Emerging Sources Citation Index.
Journal of Aging Research is a peer-reviewed, Open Access journal that publishes original research articles, review articles and clinical studies on all aspects of gerontology and geriatric medicine.
Journal of Aging Research maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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Physical Performance in Older Cohorts: A Comparison of 81-Year-Old Swedish Men and Women Born Twelve Years Apart—Results from the Swedish Study “Good Aging in Skåne”
Introduction/Aim of the Study. One way of investigating health trends at the population level is to study the physical performance and functional ability in different birth cohorts. The information obtained can be used to predict illness, disability, and future needs for care. However, contradictory findings have been reported when comparing the physical performance of older adult birth cohorts. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the birth cohort is associated with the level of physical performance in 81-year-old men and women born twelve years apart. Materials and Methods. Birth cohorts of both sexes drawn from the Swedish study “Good Aging in Skåne” for the years 1920–22 and 1932–34 were compared. Walking, the step test, the chair stand test, and the handgrip strength test were used as proxies for the physical performance. The results were adjusted for lifestyle habits and common chronic geriatric diseases. Results. Both men and women in the later-born cohort walked more quickly and completed the chair stand test faster, and women were also quicker in the step test. No significant differences were found in the grip test, in either the male or female cohorts. Discussion. Normative reference values for physical tests of subjects of different ages can be misleading unless cohort effects are considered. Furthermore, age-related trajectories can also be misinterpreted if cohort effects are neglected which, in the longer perspective, could affect health care planning. Conclusion. Birth cohort effects should be considered when comparing walking speed, number of steps, chair stands, and the step test, in men and women of older age.
Effects of a Multicomponent Exercise Program on Groups of Community-Dwelling Older Adults with Low Schooling: A Pilot Study
The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of a multicomponent exercise program on the physical and hemodynamic functions of community-dwelling older adults with low schooling levels in relation to simple multicomponent group exercises. Twenty-one older people were randomly assigned to two groups: G1 (n = 11) and G2 (n = 10); sixteen of whom completed the sixteen sessions over a six-week period, three times a week. During eight sessions, G1 performed adapted dual-task multicomponent exercises (strengthening, balance, and cognition) and G2 simple multicomponent exercises (strengthening and balance), and both groups engaged in eight additional sessions of simple multicomponent exercises. The dual-task multicomponent exercises exhibited similar effects to those of their simple multicomponent counterparts. The older adults from both groups improved mobility, frailty, static postural control, balance, and hemodynamic stability. The adapted program was beneficial to the community-dwelling older people with low schooling in the group intervention.
Definitions of Frailty in Qualitative Research: A Qualitative Systematic Review
The purpose of this qualitative systematic review was to examine how frailty was conceptually and operationally defined for participant inclusion in qualitative research focused on the lived experience of frailty in community-living frail older adults. Search of six electronic databases, 1994–2019, yielded 25 studies. Data collection involved extracting the definition of frailty from the study aim, background, literature review, methods, and sampling strategy in each research study. Quality appraisal indicated that 13 studies (52%) demonstrated potential researcher bias based on insufficient information about participant recruitment, sampling, and relationship between the researcher and participant. Content analysis and concept mapping were applied for data synthesis. Although frailty was generally defined as a multidimensional, biopsychosocial construct with loss of resilience and vulnerability to adverse outcomes, most studies defined the study population based on older age and physical impairments derived from subjective assessment by the researcher, a healthcare professional, or a family member. However, 13 studies (52%) used objective or performance-based quantitative measures to classify participant frailty. There was no consistency across studies in standardized measures or objective assessment of frailty. Synthesis of the findings yielded four themes: Time, Vulnerability, Loss, and Relationships. The predominance of older age and physical limitations as defining characteristics of frailty raises questions about whether participants were frail, since many older adults at advanced age and with physical limitations are not frail. Lack of clear criteria to classify frailty and reliance on subjective assessment introduces the risk for bias, threatens the validity and interpretation of findings, and hinders transferability of findings to other contexts. Clear frailty inclusion and exclusion criteria and a standardized approach in the reporting of how frailty is conceptually and operationally defined in study abstracts and the methodology used is necessary to facilitate dissemination and development of metasynthesis studies that aggregate qualitative research findings that can be used to inform future research and applications in clinical practice to improve healthcare.
Strategies to Locate Lost Persons with Dementia: A Case Study of Ontario First Responders
Information on strategies and practices in the search of missing persons with dementia is inconsistent which creates challenges for first responders, such as police, when they choose appropriate search and rescue approaches. The purpose of this study was to describe current strategies among police services in Ontario. Telephone interviews with police were conducted. Questions included what strategies were used for locating missing persons living with dementia, and what gaps exist in search practices. Participants described they used high- and low-tech solutions in search and rescue. They identified gaps in education and awareness, proactive strategies, resources, and funding. Information collected from the interviews was used to develop a practice guideline for police in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario.
Reliability of Lower Extremity Muscle Power and Functional Performance in Healthy, Older Women
Evaluation of the long-term reliability of muscle power and functional performance tests in older, healthy adults is warranted since determining whether performance is consistent over longer durations is more relevant for intervention studies. Objective. To assess the long-term test–retest reliability of measures of muscle power and lower body functional performance in healthy, nonexercising, older women. Methods. Data were derived from a nonexercising control group (n = 18; age = 73.3 (3.4) years; height = 159.6 (7.7) cm; body mass = 69.5 (12.7) kg; BMI = 27.3 (4.8)) of a randomized controlled trial of muscle power training in older women. Participants underwent lower extremity muscle power (Biodex) and functional testing (Short Physical Performance Battery, gait speed, 30-second chair stands, stair climbing, and 400-meter walk) at week 0 (baseline), 9, and 15. Results. For the upper leg, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were very high for knee extension power (0.90–0.97) and high to very high for knee flexion power (0.83–0.96). For lower-leg power, ICCs were high to very high for plantar flexion and dorsiflexion (0.83–0.96). ICCs for functional performance were moderate to very high (0.64–0.93). Coefficient of variation of the typical error (CVTE) was <10.5% for knee extension/flexion power, 9.9–20.0% for plantar flexion/dorsiflexion power, and 1.9–14.9% for functional performance. Knee extension power and stair climb power demonstrated the highest reliability for muscle power and function, respectively. Mean values did not change over time, with the exception of the chair stands (); however, these changes were not considered clinically meaningful. Conclusions. The current study provides evidence supporting the long-term reliability of performance assessments of muscle power and lower body functional capacity over a period of up to 15 weeks in healthy, older women.
Gaps in Hospice and Palliative Care Research: A Scoping Review of the North American Literature
Background. The demand for hospice and palliative care is growing as a result of the increase of an aging population, which is most prominent in North America. Despite the importance of the topic and an increase in hospice and palliative care utilization, there still are gaps in research and evidence within the field. Aim. To determine what gaps currently exist in hospice and palliative/end-of-life care research within the context of a North American setting to ensure that future directions are grounded in appropriate evidence. Methods. Using Arksey and O’Malley’s scoping review framework, six peer-reviewed, and four grey electronic literature databases in healthcare and the social sciences were searched in mid-2019. 111 full-text articles were retrieved, with 25 articles and reports meeting the inclusion criteria. Major themes were identified through thematic context analysis: (1) clinical, (2) system access to care, (3) research methodology, and (4) caregiving-related research gaps. Results. Findings include strategies for engaging stakeholder organizations and funding agencies, implications for other stakeholder groups such as clinicians and researchers, and highlight implications for policy (e.g., national framework discussion) and practice (e.g., healthcare provider education and training and public awareness). Conclusion. Reviewing and addressing targeted research gaps is essential to inform future directions in Canada and beyond.