Author: Teo, Kelly
Background: Although older adults may experience health challenges requiring increased attention and care, they often do not ask for help. This behavior is complex and not completely understood; therefore, further research into help-seeking behaviors of older adults and minority ethnic sub-groups is warranted. Methods: Guided by Arksey and O'Malley's scoping review framework and the PRISMA-Scoping Review guidelines, a scoping review was conducted. Data were analyzed using a qualitative meta-synthesis framework. Results: Fifty-two studies meeting inclusion criteria were organized into six themes: interactions with formal healthcare providers, identity and independence, appraisal of symptoms and health, turning to social supports, accessibility and awareness, and cultural factors and lay/religious beliefs. A supplementary analysis of younger populations and Asian older adults was conducted to address the low number of minority studies captured by the inclusion criteria and to validate study themes. Discussion: Identifying how factors, such as symptom appraisal and social support, impact older adults' help-seeking behaviors, may provide insights into how to address such barriers and how cultural dimensions of help-seeking contribute to unique challenges for minority ethnic populations.
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Thesis advisor: Cosco, Theodore
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