Data and research
Focused research, new metrics and methods could give a far better understanding of Healthy Ageing and are essential for evidence-informed policy and evaluation. To achieve this, appropriate measures of Healthy Ageing need to be agreed on and collected through vital statistics, health and social care services, and population surveys across countries. Research in a range of fields contributing to Healthy Ageing across the life course is also required, as are mechanisms to ensure its rapid translation into clinical practice, systems strengthening, population-based health interventions, and shaping of health and broader socio-economic policies.
What WHO is doing
Making progress on Healthy Ageing will require a far better understanding of age-related issues and trends. Three approaches will be crucial for improving measurement, monitoring and research. These are:
- agreeing on metrics, measures and analytical approaches for Healthy Ageing;
- documenting Healthy Ageing trajectories across the life course, including variation across and within countries; and
- conducting research to understand how to improve intrinsic capacity and functional ability across the life course in diverse contexts, involving multiple sectors (health, social, and others), and sharing evidence on what can be done to meet the distinct needs of older populations
To support these approaches WHO works with a broad range of stakeholders to:
- develop normative tools, including standardized survey instruments and related manuals;
- support countries to improve their capacity to collect, analyse and use data on Healthy Ageing; and
- advance research policy for Healthy Ageing (priorities, financing, capacities and dissemination), and support multi-country efforts to improve Healthy Ageing in light of social, gender and biologic determinants, roles of health and other social systems, and broader social and economic context.