Burton AE, Dean SE, Demeyin (Nuabor) W, Reeves J. Questionnaire measures of self-directed ageing stereotype in older adults: a systematic review of measurement properties. Eur J Ageing. 2020 Jul 12. doi: 10.1007/s10433-020-00574-7

The population is ageing, but while average life expectancy continues to increase, healthy life expectancy has not necessarily matched this and negative ageing stereotypes remain prevalent. Self-directed ageing stereotypes are hypothesised to play an important role in older adults’ health and well-being; however, a wide variety of terms and measures are used to explore this construct meaning there is a lack of clarity within the literature. A review was conducted to identify tools used to measure self-directed ageing stereotype in older adults and evaluate their quality. Searches identified 109 papers incorporating 40 different measures. Most common were the Philadelphia Geriatric Centre Morale Scale Attitude Towards Own Ageing (ATOA) subscale, Ageing Perceptions Questionnaire (APQ) and Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire. Despite being most frequently used, the ATOA was developed to measure morale in older adults rather than self-directed ageing stereotypes. Over 25 terms were used to describe the concept, and it is suggested that for consistency the term “self-directed ageing stereotype” be adopted universally. Across measures, poor reporting of psychometric properties made it difficult to assess scale quality and more research is needed to fully assess measures before conclusions can be drawn as to the best tool; however, the Brief-APQ appears to hold most promise. Future research must address this issue before interventions to reduce negative self-directed ageing stereotypes can be developed and fully evaluated.

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