Purpose: To determine the state of science and accumulated research evidence about health promotion at retirement.
Design: A comprehensive and repeated search for published research articles focused on health promotion immediately before or following retirement was undertaken through early 2007.
Methods: Twenty articles were systematically reviewed with qualitative content analysis methods.
Findings: Four themes in the literature are: (a) the considerable effect of retirement on retiring individuals and thus the need for support for more positive retirements, (b) identifying and overcoming barriers to health promotion at retirement, (c) evaluating the methods by which health promotion is introduced for positive and long-term change, and (d) describing the short- and long-term benefits of health promotion at retirement.
Conclusions: Although this literature review showed relatively minimal research to date on this topic, health promotion at retirement is of considerable importance for retirees, as well as to the political, social, and healthcare leaders responsible for drafting policies and programs to help improve health and wellness in older adults.