Reducing the Shared Burden of Chronic Conditions Among Persons Ageing with Disability and Older Adults in the United States Through Bridging Ageing and Disability

Authored by: Margaret L. Campbell , Michelle Putnam

Handbook on Ageing with Disability

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138611498
eBook ISBN: 9780429465352
Adobe ISBN:


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Persons ageing with long-term disabilities such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis and older adults share similar chronic conditions in mid and later life in the United States. The rising general interest and more prevalent federal requirements for use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in health promotion and chronic condition interventions highlight the gap between demand and the availability of EBPs for persons ageing with disability in particular. Addressing this gap will require focused efforts that will benefit substantially by bridging the fields of ageing and disability/rehabilitation to develop new EBPs, translate existing EBPs across populations, and borrow best practices across fields where there are few current EBPs. Understanding distinctions between disability-related secondary conditions and age-related chronic conditions is a first step in identifying shared conditions that are important to address for both mid-life and older adults with disabilities. This review articulates these distinctions, describes shared conditions, and discusses the current lack of EBPs for both populations. It also provides recommendations for bridging activities in the United States by researchers, professionals, and consumer advocates. We argue that these can more efficiently move research and practice than if activities were undertaken separately in each field.

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