New thesis explores the impact of behavioral and psychosocial factors on physical function in old age
Hi there, Marguerita Saadeh, PhD student at the Division of Aging Research Center (ARC), Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society at Karolinska Institutet! You will defend your thesis entitled "Enjoying life and living healthier: impact of behavioral and psychosocial factors on physical function in old age" on 22 September 2022. Tell us, what is the main focus of your thesis?
The main aim of my thesis is to better delineate the impact and interplay among indicators of behavioral, psychological and social well-being on functional trajectories, in older community-dwelling healthy individuals.
What are your main findings?
We found that higher levels of behavioral, psychological and social well-being may contribute to delaying the age-related decline in physical function, both independently but even more so when high levels across different domains coexist.
This highlights the existence of synergistic effects across domains and confirms the multidimensionality of successful aging. Moreover, the slower decline of behavioral, psychological and social vs functional well-being domains may suggest that the former could act as potential compensatory mechanisms of physical health deterioration.
How can this knowledge contribute to the improvment of people’s health?
The studies included in this project intend to identify new pathways to decrease or delay functional decline among healthy older adults by providing evidence on the potential functional benefits of increasing their behavioral, psychological and social well-being.
What are your future plans?
I plan to continue conducting research in the future.