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Swiss Centenarian Study (SWISS100): Vulnerability and Resilience at Age 100

Applicant Jopp Daniela
Number 186239
Funding scheme Sinergia
Research institution Institut de psychologie Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Interdisciplinary
Start/End 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2023
Approved amount 3'169'864.00
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All Disciplines (8)

Discipline
Interdisciplinary
Geriatrics
Immunology, Immunopathology
Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Methods of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
Pathophysiology
Psychology
Sociology

Keywords (6)

Vulnerability; Aging; Resilience; Centenarians; Longitudinal; Very old age

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Schweiz gehört zu den Ländern mit der höchsten Lebenserwartung weltweit. Obwohl jedes zweite Kind, das nach dem Jahr 2000 geboren wurde, wahrscheinlich 100 Jahre alt wird, ist über Schweizer Hundertjährige wenig bekannt. Als erste landesweite Hundertjährigen-Studie wird SWISS100 wichtige Informationen über das sehr hohe Alter in der Schweiz liefern, um diese Wissenslücke zu schliessen.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

SWISS100 wird die Lebensbedingungen, Ressourcen und Bedürfnisse der in der Schweiz lebenden Hundertjährigen beschreiben: Wie ist ihre Gesundheit, wie organisieren sie den Alltag, welche Hilfe erhalten sie und wie ist ihr Wohlbefinden. Ein besonderes Augenmerk liegt auf der Vulnerabilität der Hundertjährigen in verschiedenen Facetten (z.B. physisch, kognitiv, psychisch, sozial) und auf ihrer Resilienz, d.h. der Fähigkeit, sich diesen Herausforderungen zu stellen. SWISS100 erforscht biologische Aspekte – haben Hundertjährige ein biologisches Geheimnis, das ihre Langlebigkeit erklärt – sowie soziale und kulturelle Aspekte – inwiefern sind Eigenschaften und Lebensweg der Hundertjährigen durch ihr Umfeld und historische Kontexte geprägt. Personen im Alter von 100 Jahren und ihre Familien werden mit multiplen Methoden im Zeitverlauf untersucht.

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forchungsprojekts

In SWISS100 kooperieren Forscher der Universitäten von Lausanne, Genf, Zürich und der Fachhochschule SUPSI. Experten aus Biologie, Gerontologie, Medizin, Psychiatrie, Psychologie, Pflege und Soziologie werden ein Modell zur Beschreibung von Verletzlichkeit und Widerstandsfähigkeit im hohen Lebensalter entwickeln. Dieses Vorhaben dient der Identifikation von Risiken und Stärken, sowie der Planung von Pflege und Interventionen, um die demographischen Herausforderungen unserer Gesellschaft anzugehen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 28.11.2019

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
La Suisse est l'un des pays au monde avec l'espérance de vie la plus élevée et il est probable qu'un enfant sur deux né après l'an 2000 atteindra l’âge de 100 ans. Malgré cela, nous ne savons presque rien sur les centenaires vivant en Suisse. SWISS100, première étude réalisée à l'échelle nationale sur cette population, fournira des informations importantes pour combler cette lacune.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

SWISS100 vise à décrire les conditions de vie, les ressources et les besoins des centenaires résidant en Suisse : quel est leur état de santé, comment organisent-ils leur vie quotidienne, de quelles aides bénéficient-ils, ou encore quel est leur niveau de bien-être ? Une attention particulière est accordée à la vulnérabilité des centenaires, dans ses différentes facettes (physique, cognitive, psychologique, sociale, etc.), et à leur résilience, c'est-à-dire leur capacité à faire face à ces défis. SWISS100 s'intéresse tant aux aspects biologiques – les centenaires ont-ils un secret biologique qui explique leur longévité ? – qu'aux aspects sociaux et culturels – dans quelle mesure les caractéristiques et les parcours de vie des centenaires sont-ils forgés par les régions dans lesquelles ils vivent et les contextes historiques traversés ? Plusieurs méthodes sont utilisées pour suivre les centenaires et leur famille au fil du temps.

 

Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

SWISS100 est un projet collaboratif entre les universités de Lausanne, Genève et Zürich, ainsi que la Haute école appliquée de la Suisse italienne (SUPSI). Des experts en biologie, gérontologie, médecine, psychiatrie, psychologie, sciences infirmières et sociologie travaillent ensemble à la mise au point d'un modèle décrivant la vulnérabilité et la résilience des personnes très âgées. Cet effort sert à identifier les risques et les points forts des centenaires, ainsi qu'à planifier les soins et les interventions pour relever les défis démographiques de notre société.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 28.11.2019

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lead
La Svizzera è uno dei paesi al mondo con la più alta aspettativa di vita ed è probabile che un bambino su due nato nel nuovo millennio raggiunga i 100 anni. Nonostante ciò, non sappiamo quasi nulla dei centenari che vivono in Svizzera. SWISS100, primo studio sul tema condotto su scala nazionale, si propone di colmare questa lacuna.
Lay summary

Soggetto e obiettivo

SWISS100 mira a descrivere le condizioni di vita, le risorse ed i bisogni dei centenari residenti in Svizzera: qual è il loro stato di salute, ma anche come organizzano la loro vita quotidiana, su quali aiuti possono contare, qual è il loro livello di benessere. Particolare attenzione è rivolta alla vulnerabilità dei centenari, nelle sue diverse sfaccettature (fisica, cognitiva, psicologica, sociale, ecc.), e alla loro resilienza, ovvero la capacità di far fronte a queste sfide. SWISS100 indaga sia gli aspetti biologici – i centenari celano un segreto biologico che spiega la loro longevità? – sia gli aspetti sociali e culturali – in che misura i percorsi di vita e le caratteristiche dei centenari sono influenzati dai luoghi e dai contesti in cui hanno vissuto? Per seguire i centenari e i loro famigliari nel corso del tempo vengono utilizzati diversi approcci metodologici.

 

Contesto sociale e scientifico

SWISS100 è un progetto collaborativo tra la SUPSI e le università di Losanna, Ginevra e Zurigo. Esperti in biologia, cure infermieristiche, gerontologia, medicina, psichiatria, psicologia e sociologia lavorano assieme allo sviluppo di un modello che descriva la vulnerabilità e la resilienza in età molto avanzata. Questo per identificare rischi e punti di forza dei centenari, per pianificare cure ed interventi in modo da affrontare le sfide demografiche della nostra società.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 28.11.2019

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Switzerland is one of the countries with the highest life expectancy world-wide. Although every second child born after the year 2000 is likely to reach age 100, little is known about Swiss centenarians. As the first nation-wide centenarian study, SWISS100 will provide important information on the very old in Switzerland to close this knowledge gap.
Lay summary

Content and aim of the research project

SWISS100 aims to describe the living conditions, resources and needs of centenarians living in Switzerland: what is their health status, how do they organize their daily lives, what assistance do they receive, and what is their level of well-being. Particular attention is paid to the vulnerability of centenarians, in its various facets (e.g., physical, cognitive, psychological, social), and to their resilience, i.e. the ability to face these challenges. SWISS100 also investigates the role of biological aspects – do centenarians have a biological secret that explains their longevity? – and social and cultural aspects – to what extent are their characteristics and life courses shaped by the regions they live in and historical contexts? A multi-method approach is used to follow individuals aged 100 and their families over time.

 

Scientific and social context of the research project

SWISS100 is a collaborative project of researchers of the universities of Lausanne, Geneva, Zurich, and the applied university SUPSI. Experts from biology, gerontology, medicine, psychiatry, psychology, nursing and sociology work together to develop a model to describe vulnerability and resilience in very old age. This endeavor serves to identify risks and strengths, as well as to plan care and interventions addressing society’s demographic challenges.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 28.11.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Associated projects

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159780 The two faces of neuroplasticity - In vivo study of brain plasticity induced by epileptic seizures and electroconvulsive therapy 01.04.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
159378 Adhérer à une ADMD: analyse d'une transition et d'une anticipation de la fin de vie pour les membres âgés de 65 ans et plus 01.11.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
169390 Predictive biomarkers of individual trajectories in elderly persons with subtle cognitive decline 01.11.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
156378 The role of impulsivity and anxiety sensitivity as predisposing factors to cocaine and cannabinoid abuse: investigating the predictive value of D2 and GABAA-benzodiazepine receptor densities using SPECT neuroimaging 01.03.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
163144 Do branched chain amino acids counteract protein energy wasting through gut microbiota changes in hemodialysis patients? 01.06.2016 Project funding (Div. I-III)
149578 Psychological predictors of quality of life in patients treated with deep brain stimulation 01.02.2014 Interdisciplinary projects
153378 Pathoplastic effect of attachment characteristics on behavioural and psychological symptoms of beginning cognitive disorders in the elderly 01.04.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
182138 Colour your life: An evidence-based approach to understand how hue, chroma and lightness link to affect in elderly populations 01.04.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Context. Given demographic developments with a strong increase in the number of very old individuals, investigations of what characterizes very old age are imperative to address this challenge at the individual, family and societal level. A Swiss-wide centenarian study is urgently needed to examine specific risks, strengths, and needs of today’s very old population in Switzerland, and to prepare our future, as every fourth girl and fifth boy born after 2014 is likely to reach age 100 [1].Theoretical background. Centenarians are an understudied and underserved population. Centenarian studies have mostly concentrated on demographic and medical questions, yet little is known about centenarians’ lives, characteristics, and service needs, calling for interdisciplinary research involving sociological and psychological perspectives. Studies so far show that centenarians have substantial health issues [2, 3] and that cognitive restrictions are widely prevalent [4], which burden everyday life and endanger autonomy. Centenarians are also at risk for social isolation as they have often survived relatives and friends [5]. Thus, at a time of high support needs, they can rely on increasingly fewer social partners for help. Despite this enhanced vulnerability, some studies also suggest that centenarians are resilient, given low prevalence rates of depression and high levels of life satisfaction [5, 6]. Our prior work suggests that psychological strengths such as self-efficacy and optimism are important mechanisms that mediate or moderate the effect of poor resources [7]. Only few studies consider centenarians’ vulnerability and resilience, and no such study has been conducted in Switzerland.Aim of the study and hypothesis. As a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach is needed to move aging research forward, the Swiss Centenarian Study (SWISS100) investigates two complex phenomena that are central for very old age, vulnerability and resilience, by combining medical/biological, psychiatric, psychological and sociological perspectives. Investigation of vulnerability and resilience requires an interdisciplinary approach, as the sum of discipline-specific components (e.g., medical risks, social support) is not sufficient. Considering their interactions is essential to understand the nature of vulnerability/resilience in very old age and its consequences. Specific aims include to (1) create a comprehensive knowledge base on Swiss centenarians’ (unique) characteristics, life conditions, resources and needs reflecting medical/biological, psychiatric, psychological and sociological aspects; (2) determine vulnerability (current, trajectories), its predictors and outcomes; (3) identify resilience mechanisms (e.g., psychological, social) which mediate or moderate vulnerability levels or change; and to (4) examine how centenarians and their lives are shaped by specific societal and cultural features (e.g., family involvement, care structures), comparing Swiss data across language regions and with data from other countries (e.g., Germany). We expect that Swiss centenarians are vulnerable, but also resilient; and that their characteristics and life conditions vary across language areas and countries, reflecting historical circumstances, societally-based opportunity structures and cultural differences.Method. The interdisciplinary study follows a biopsychosocial approach to assess longitudinally a population-based sample of 240 Swiss centenarians from the three main language areas (16% of the population). Measurement combines procedures from all disciplines (e.g., innovative biological markers, actimetry, tests, self-reports, open-ended questions). Data sources include the centenarian, a proxy respondent (e.g., child) and the interviewer. After a baseline, follow-up interviews with centenarians (every 6 months) and proxy (every 3 months) will be conducted to depict trajectories of change until death. Data will be compared with younger old samples to capture centenarians’ uniqueness. To study the role of context and culture, data will be compared across regions (German, French, Italian speaking) and with countries from our network. Innovation and impact. This first Swiss nation-wide study of centenarians’ life situations, characteristics and needs will generate an important knowledge base for developing interdisciplinary models of vulnerability and resilience in very old age and for creating innovative service models required for future public health planning and policies. As Switzerland is among the leading countries worldwide in terms of life expectancy and quality of life, identifying factors related to aging well in Swiss centenarians will increase our understanding of very old age and provide guidance to other countries addressing the global challenge of fast increasing numbers of very old individuals.
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