About the research environment Sustainable Active Ageing

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At BTH there is research ranging from engineering and informatics to health. The common characteristic for the research is the profile on applied IT and sustainable development of business and society. Today research activities represents one third of the institute's turnover, which is a large share at a young university like BTH.

The research environment Sustainable Active Ageing, which we started to build up in 2009/2010 is a multidisciplinary field within the School of Health Science, for describing and analyzing older people's health and need of care from and, in a socially sustainable perspective. This research group aims to actively engage in, as well as to initiate, research that will create new, as well as increase existing, knowledge about older people's health and care. The point of departure for our research is the everyday needs that we observe in the health care sector, from community care to hospital care.   

We are aware that "older persons" is a large group, more than 1.5 million in Sweden. A group with several subgroups as for example, people over 80 years old, today app. 500.000 persons that will be doubled in 50 years. Persons over 65 years old are already today a group with influence and power in the society, something that will increase in a near future. Our definition of the concept of health is a broad definition that includes both health and un-health from an individual, as well as from a group perspective.  In this milieu we assume that we have relative good medical knowledge about older people, but we know little about older people's will to/need to/expectations to participate in their own health and care. Also, we know little about effective strategies for promotion and prevention and what structures, on an individual as well as on a societal level that will promote sustainable aging.    

In this milieu we are 10 persons with a PhD, including 2 professors, 1 guest professor and 3 associate professors.  Seven of these ten are from nursing science and 3 are from public health science. We have two individuals in a mentor program to become associate professor. The milieu also includes 11 doctoral students, 9 from nursing science and 2 from public health science. From a nursing science perspective the prerequisites for this milieu started in 2006/2007 with some strategic appointments and this was strengthened with a contract between Lund University and the School of Health concerning collaborative education for doctoral students. Today we are working for a similar collaboration with the University of Linköping. This need is for the near future since we are expanding, for example we are advertising two positions as doctoral students. Our vision is that we will examine our doctoral students at BTH also in nursing science, as we already have the right to examine in Applied Health Technology. Besides that, researchers in this milieu meet with each other in the different projects, we have seminars regularly and also attend seminars at other universities, for example at Lund University.  

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