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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 83

How to find lessons from the public health literature: Example of a scoping study protocol on the neighborhood environment

1 School of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke; Research Centre on Aging, Eastern Townships Integrated University Centre for Health and Social Services - Sherbrooke Hospital University Centre (CIUSSS de l'Estrie - CHUS), Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1H 4C4, Canada
2 Department Public Health, CIUSSS de l'Estrie-CHUS, Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1J 1B1, Canada
3 CIUSSS de l'Estrie-CHUS, Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1H 4C4, Canada
4 Réseau de transport de Longueuil, Longueuil, Quebec, J4G 2M4, Canada
5 Centre d'études de l'Asie de l'est, Faculté des Arts et des Sciences, Université de Montréal, Pavillon 3744, rue Jean-Brillant, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3J7, Canada
6 Sherbrooke Healthy City Inc., Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1H 5H9, Canada
7 Etienne-LeBel Clinical Research Centre, CHUS; Department of Emergency and Family Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, PRIMUS Research Group, Sherbrooke, Quebec, J1H 5N4, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Mélanie Levasseur
Research Centre on Aging, Health and Social Services Centre, University Institute of Geriatrics of Sherbrooke and School of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Quebec
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Source of Support: Canadian Institutes for Health Research (#KAS-116 630), Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2008-7802.184311

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Background: As key determinants of many favorable health and quality of life outcomes, it is important to identify factors associated with mobility and social participation. Although several investigations have been carried out on mobility, social participation and neighborhood environment, there is no clear integration of these results. This paper presents a scoping study protocol that aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of how the physical and social neighborhood environment is associated with or influences mobility and social participation in older adults. Methods: The rigorous methodological framework for scoping studies is used to synthesize and disseminate current knowledge on the associations or influence of the neighborhood environment on mobility and social participation in aging. Nine databases from public health and other fields are searched with 51 predetermined keywords. Using content analysis, all data are exhaustively analyzed, organized, and synthesized independently by two research assistants. Discussion: A comprehensive synthesis of empirical studies provides decision-makers, clinicians and researchers with current knowledge and best practices regarding neighborhood environments with a view to enhancing mobility and social participation. Such a synthesis represents an original contribution and can ultimately support decisions and development of innovative interventions and clear guidelines for the creation of age-supportive environments. Improvements in public health and clinical interventions might be the new innovation needed to foster health and quality of life for aging population. Finally, the aspects of the associations or influence of the neighborhood environment on mobility and social participation not covered by previous research are identified. Conclusions: Among factors that impact mobility and social participation, the neighborhood environment is important since interventions targeting it may have a greater impact on an individual's mobility and social participation than those targeting individual factors. Although investigations from various domains have been carried out on this topic, no clear integration of these results is available yet.

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