Professional competences to promote healthy ageing across the lifespan: a scoping review

Elena Carrillo-Alvarez, Míriam Rodríguez-Monforte, Carles Fernández-Jané, Mireia Solà-Madurell, Mariusz Kozakiewicz, Mariola Głowacka, Mariel Leclère, Endrit Nimani, Adnan Hoxha, Armi Hirvonen, Sari Järvinen, Miriam van der Velde, Meike van Scherpenseel, António Alves Lopes, Hugo Santos, Isabel Guimarães, Marietta Handgraaf, Christian Grüneberg

Research output: Indexed journal article Reviewpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As societies age, the development of resources and strategies that foster healthy ageing from the beginning of life become increasingly important. Social and healthcare professionals are key agents in this process; therefore, their training needs to be in agreement with societal needs. We performed a scoping review on professional competences for social and health workers to adequately promote healthy ageing throughout life, using the framework described by Arksey and O’Malley and the Joanna Briggs Institute Guidelines. A stakeholder consultation was held in each of the participating countries, in which 79 experts took part. Results show that current literature has been excessively focused on the older age and that more attention on how to work with younger population groups is needed. Likewise, not all disciplines have equally reflected on their role before this challenge and interprofessional approaches, despite showing promise, have not been sufficiently described. Based on our results, health and social professionals working to promote healthy ageing across the lifespan will need sound competences regarding person-centred communication, professional communication, technology applications, physiological and pathophysiological aspects of ageing, social and environmental aspects, cultural diversity, programs and policies, ethics, general and basic skills, context and self-management-related skills, health promotion and disease prevention skills, educational and research skills, leadership skills, technological skills and clinical reasoning. Further research should contribute to establishing which competences are more relevant to each discipline and at what level they should be taught, as well as how they can be best implemented to effectively transform health and social care systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Competences
  • Healthy ageing
  • Professional training
  • Scoping review


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