Research Questions

Now more than ever, an increasing number of people can look forward to reach old age. However, increasing age is associated with increasing morbidity.

Multiple illnesses are often associated with decreases in quality of life and life expectancy. There are, however, substantial differences between persons. PREFER examined whether the way individuals cope with their illnesses, think about their illnesses and act despite or because of their illnesses could explain such differences in quality of life and autonomy

Individual attitudes and thoughts, health behaviors and individual health affect each other reciprocally over time. For example, physical limitations might affect individual attitudes towards health. On the other hand, such changes in attitudes might affect individual behavior, which in turn impacts on behavior and health.

In order to examine such reciprocal relations, we designed PREFER as a longitudinal study with three measurement points over one year.

The main aim of the study was to identify factors that allow older people with multiple illnesses to maintain or improve their health behaviors and health status. The results of PREFER can inform effective interventions to support older people with multiple illnesses in their autonomy and quality of life.

Here are some basic results from PREFER: