Literature Review Health Psychology

Topics: Old age, Gerontology, Ageing Pages: 6 (2193 words) Published: August 7, 2013
Australia's population, like that of most Western.countries, is ageing as a result of sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy. Over the next several decades, population ageing is projected to have significant implications for Australia, and particularly for the institution of health care and allied industries. In the 12 months to 30 June 2010, Australia's population increased by 377,100 people, reaching 22,342,000. The annual growth rate for the year ended 30 June 2010 (1.7%) was lower than that recorded for the year ended 30 June 2009 (2.2%) Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013). Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 years will double from about 11% to 22%. The absolute number of people aged 60 years and over is expected to increase from 605 million to 2 billion over the same period, World Health Organization (WHO) (2013) Christensen et.al (2009) contend that, if the pace of increase in life expectancy in developed countries over the past two centuries continues through the 21st century, most babies born since 2000 in countries with long life expectancies, like Australia, will celebrate their 100th birthdays. Although trends differ between countries, populations of nearly all such countries are ageing as a result of low fertility, low immigration, and long lives. A key question is: are increases in life expectancy accompanied by a concurrent postponement of functional limitations and disability? Research suggests that ageing processes are modifiable and that people are living longer without severe disability. This finding, together with technological and medical development and redistribution of work, is important for our chances to meet the challenges of ageing populations. With the evolution of health Psychology in recent decades and particularly the treatment planning and implementation guided by the Bio psychosocial model, populations are entering older age in a state of better preparedness with a potential outlook of an improved quality of life, however it may be argued that not enough emphasis has been placed on transitioning into older age in a relatively fit state. Butler (1991) defines it in terms of four forms of fitness: physical, intellectual, social, and purpose fitness. Physical fitness refers to bodily strength, resilience, and ability. Intellectual fitness refers to keeping the mind engaged and active. Social fitness involves forming and maintaining significant personal relationships. The functional capacity of an individual's genetic system reaches its peak in early adulthood and naturally declines thereafter. The rate of degeneration is determined, at least in part, by our behaviours and contact across the whole life course. These include what we eat, how physically active we are and our exposure to health risks.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (A.B.S.) identifies a range of genetic, social, economic and environmental factors are recognised as increasing the risk of developing a particular health condition. Selected lifestyle and related factors which have been identified as negatively impacting health and which are reported include; being overweight or obese, smoking, poor diet and nutrition, and blood pressure. Information about these selected health risk factors and behaviours can be used along with information about other health and population characteristics to enable a better understanding of Australia's overall health and how it can be improved. It can also be used to predict future trends in a range of chronic diseases associated with these risk factors which may lead to better health related outcomes and more sustained health over a lifetime. The leading cause of health related issues and death in the world and in particular Australia is Ischaemic heart disease, which includes angina, blocked arteries of the heart and heart attacks. Ischaemic heart diseases were identified as the underlying cause of 21,513 deaths, 14.6% of all deaths...

References: Burleson, B. R. (2003). The experience and effects of emotional support: What the study of
cultural and gender differences can tell us about close relationships, emotion, and interpersonal communication
Butler, R. (1991). Foreword in J. Birren & D. Deutchman (Eds.), Guiding autobiography
groups for older adults
Christensen, K., Doblhammer, G., Rau, R., & Vaupel, J. W. (2009). Ageing populations: the
challenges ahead
Economics, D. A. (2011). Dementia Across Australia 2011–2050. Canberra: Delloite Access
Economics Pty Ltd.
Gething, L., Fethney, J., & Blazely, A. (1998). The importance of adopting a client focus in
assessing outcomes following inpatient rehabilitation treatment of older people
Gibson, C. H. (1991). A concept analysis of empowerment. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 5,
51-57
Helmes, E. & Gee, S. (2003). Attitudes of Australian therapists toward older clients:
Educational and training imperatives.Educational Gerontology, 29, 657-670
McLennan, W. (1998). Mental Health and Wellbeing Profile of Adults: Australia 1997.
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