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Positive health among older traveller and older homeless adults: A scoping review of life-course and structural determinants

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Thomas Scharf


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Concepts related to positive health in later life are increasingly prevalent within community-based health and social care policy. With a greater emphasis on inclusion health for older populations, there is a critical need to understand the determinants of such states for those most at risk of societal disadvantage. Focusing on two such groups, the aim of this article is to synthesise international research on the life-course and structural determinants of positive subjective health for older homeless people and older Irish Travellers. Two scoping reviews were conducted (one for each group) to capture state-of-the art knowledge published from 1998 to 2020. The reviews were completed from July to December 2018, and repeated from March to April 2020. Thirty-eight publications were included in the final sample (older Travellers: 10 sources; older homeless: 28 sources). Specific life-course and structural factors were evident for both groups, as well as commonalities with respect to: accumulated exclusions; complexity of needs; accommodation adequacy/stability and independence and resilience. Research gaps are identified concerning: lack of conceptualisation of positive health; the application of life-course perspectives and the absence of an environmental gerontological analysis of the situations of both groups.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cush P, Walsh K, Carroll B, O'Donovan D, Keogh S, Scharf T, MacFarlane A, O'Shea E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health & Social Care in the Community

Year: 2020

Volume: 28

Issue: 6

Pages: 1961-1978

Print publication date: 01/11/2020

Online publication date: 30/06/2020

Acceptance date: 27/05/2020

ISSN (print): 0966-0410

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2524

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/hsc.13060


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