Background: Participation in everyday life and society is generally seen as essential for health-related outcomes and acknowledged to affect older people’s well-being.
Aims: To investigate if aspects of performance- and togetherness-related participation influence on mortality among very old single living people in Sweden.
Methods: ENABLE-AGE Survey Study data involving single-living participants in Sweden (N = 314, aged 81–91 years), followed over 10 years were used. Multivariate Cox regression models adjusted for demographic and health-related variables were used to analyse specific items influencing mortality.
Results: Participation in performance- or togetherness-oriented activities was found to significantly influence mortality [HR 0.62 (0.44–0.88), P value 0.006, and HR 0.72 (0.53–0.97), P value 0.031, respectively]. Talking to neighbours and following local politics had a protective effect on mortality, speaking to relatives on the phone (CI 1.10–2.02) and performing leisure activities together with others (CI 1.10–2.00) had the opposite influence. That is, those performing the latter activities were significantly more likely to die earlier.
Discussion: The main contribution of this study is the facet of the results showing that aspects of performance- and togetherness-related participation have a protective effect on mortality in very old age. This is important knowledge for designing health promotion and preventive efforts for the ageing population. Moreover, it constitutes a contribution to the development of instruments capturing aspects of participation influencing on mortality. Conclusion: In the development of health promotion and preventive efforts the inclusion of participation facets could be considered in favour of potential positive influences on longevity.
- Gerontologi, medicinsk/hälsovetenskaplig inriktning (30502)