Older people maintaining mental health well-being through resilience : an appreciative inquiry study in four countries

Wendy Moyle, Charlotte Clarke, Natalie Gracia, Jan Reed, Glenda Cook, Barbara Klein, Sandra Marais, Elsie Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim. To explore the experience and strategies of mental health well-being through resilience in older people across the four participating countries. Background. While there is increasing evidence of the way older people maintain physical well-being, there has not been the same emphasis when examining the ways in which older people enhance their resilience and so promote mental health well-being. Design. An Appreciative Inquiry approach was used. Method. A convenience sample of 58 people over the age of 65 years from Australia, UK, Germany, and South Africa were interviewed. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results. Participants described their experiences of mental health well-being in relation to: social isolation and loneliness; social worth; self-determination; and security. Strategies utilised include promoting resilience by maintaining community connections and relationships, keeping active, and emotional, practical and spiritual coping. Conclusion. The findings highlight the importance of maintaining mental health well-being through resilience. Although there were some variations between countries, these strategies for maintaining well-being transcended culture and nation. Relevance to clinical practice. Listening to older people through research such as the current study will help to determine what help is needed and how healthcare and policy makers can assist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-121
JournalJournal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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