How older citizens engage in their health promotion: A qualitative research driven taxonomy of experiences and meanings

Julia Paola Menichetti Delor, Guendalina Graffigna

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

11 Citazioni (Scopus)


Objectives: In this qualitative study, we provide an in-depth exploration of older people’s experiences and subjective meanings concerning their engagement in health promotion as well as the emotional and pragmatic difficulties they face during their engagement. Methods: The study was designed according to the Ethnoscience method, which implies a participatory process that values patients’ linguistic expressions to deeply understand the phenomena under the investigation and to give it a meaning. Using this method, thanks to repeated rounds of interviews and q-sorting task, participants created a dictionary, with the assistance of researcher, to describe the phenomenon of interest. They agreed on a shared taxonomy of meanings and experiences related to the phenomenon. Twenty-five North Italian older citizens participated in this study. Results: Participants described a shared taxonomy of health engagement experiences by depicting three main positions (i.e., “locked position”; “awakening position”; “climbing position”), which represented different experiential domains grouped by participants into four main semantic areas (e.g., physical care, soul care, daily lifestyle, contact with ageing). Each position is characterized by specific emotions, personal representations of meaning and healthy behaviours that may sustain or hinder older citizens’ engagement in health promotion. Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest the importance of deeply understanding older peoples’ experiences and their subjective meanings of health promotion. Particularly, the results showed how their engagement in health promotion is framed in a complex system of psychological meanings, which may sustain or hinder their ability to adopt healthy behaviours. A deeper understanding of older citizens’ lived experiences, their doubts, and their difficulties in engaging in health promotion may offer some important cues for orienting interventions in this area.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-28
Numero di pagine28
RivistaBMJ Open
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016


  • health engagement
  • older people
  • qualitative study


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