Wendy B. Stav, Theresa Hallenen, Jennifer Lane, Marian Arbesman; Systematic Review of Occupational Engagement and Health Outcomes Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Am J Occup Ther 2012;66(3):301–310. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.003707
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© 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association
We conducted this systematic review, one of four related to productive aging, to explore the existing evidence for the health benefits of engagement in occupations and activities among older adults. The review incorporates the breadth of areas of occupation in which older adults engage and the range of health benefits derived from that engagement. The results of this review demonstrate the multidisciplinary appreciation for occupational engagement and associated well-being and elucidate the health effects of engagement in a wide variety of occupations and activities. Additionally, the results of this systematic review support occupational therapy’s historical ideologies and core philosophies linking occupational engagement to improved health and well-being. The findings suggest an increasing role for occupational therapy service delivery in community-based health promotion and prevention efforts to meet the everyday activity and health needs of the growing older adult population.
Work, volunteering, physical activity, leisure, and social and religious activities have a positive impact on health and quality of life for older adults.
The evidence indicates that participation in occupations and activities should be the core of occupational therapy wellness and prevention programs for community-dwelling older adults.
Occupational therapy interventions in both clinical and community-based settings should foster client engagement in various occupations of choice.
Occupational therapy practitioners need to identify occupations that may have negative health effects (e.g., caregiving for ill family member) and provide interventions to reduce the negative consequences.
Occupational therapy practitioners need to be aware that the benefits of engagement in occupation may vary based on the occupation or activity and personal characteristics.
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