Influence of the Self-Perception of Old Age on the Effect of a Healthy Aging Program

J Clin Med. 2018 May 7;7(5):106. doi: 10.3390/jcm7050106.


It has been shown that health programs are useful for the prevention and control of chronic diseases in community-dwelling older people; however, a negative self-perception of old age could have an effect on the results. Therefore, our aim was to evaluate the effect of a healthy aging program linked to self-perception of old age in Mexican community-dwelling older people. A pre-test/post-test single-group design study was conducted in a convenience sample of 64 older people who undertook the entire healthy aging program workshop (five months&rsquo; duration). We measured self-perception of old age, efficacy of self-care, blood glucose concentration, anthropometric measures, and blood pressure before and after the workshop. A statistically significant decrease in blood glucose concentration was observed (baseline 136 &plusmn; 50 vs. post-intervention, 124 &plusmn; 45 &plusmn; 29 mg/dL, p < 0.01), LDL (baseline 153 &plusmn; 47 vs. post-intervention, 130 &plusmn; 36 mg/dL, p < 0.01), systolic blood pressure (130 &plusmn; 20 vs. 119 &plusmn; 11 mm/Hg, p < 0.001), and diastolic blood pressure (75 &plusmn; 9 vs. 72 &plusmn; 7 mm/Hg, p < 0.05) after community intervention. However, when we analyzed the data regarding self-perception, we found that this difference was only maintained in the subgroup of older adults with a positive self-perception of old age. Our findings suggest that the self-perception of old age influences the effect of healthy aging programs on the health of community-dwelling older people.

Keywords: Mexican community-dwelling older people; healthy aging; self-care; self-perception of old age.