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Health Promotion Practices of Older Adults: Model Testing


  • Barbara Resnick Ph.D., CRNP, FAAN, FAANP

    1. Barbara Resnick is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland.
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Address correspondence to Barbara Resnick, Ph.D., CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, 5435 Watercress Place, Columbia, MD 21045. E-mail: bresnick


Abstract  The purpose of this study was to describe the primary and secondary health promotion activities of a group of older adults living independently in a continuing care retirement community. Primary and secondary health promotion activities were described and compared among the young old (ages 65–80), the old (ages 81–85), and the old-old (ages 86–101). Model testing of the factors that influence participation in health-promoting activities was also completed. This descriptive study included 206 of 210 residents who participated in a single face-to-face interview. The majority of the participants were female (79%), white (99%), and cognitively intact. Those in the old-old age group were less likely than the old and young-old groups to have: (1) their stools checked for occult blood; (2) their skin checked for lesions; or (3) a recent mammogram, Pap test, or prostate exam. Model testing found that age, chronic illnesses, degree of physical and mental health, and cognitive status directly or indirectly influenced older adults' participation in primary and secondary health behaviors.