D7 - Integrated health and wellbeing pathways

Deliverable 7

This report reflects the activities performed in Working Group 2 of COST Action NET4Age-Friendly. The Working Group delved into the current state of the art in the field of integrated health and well-being pathways. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art on integrated health and well-being pathways and its results will be used to develop the modules on integrated health and well-being pathways that will become part of the Reference Framework, the ultimate deliverable of the COST Action 19136 NET4Age-Friendly. It delves into the primary factors and strategies influencing the development and sustainability of integrated health and well-being initiatives.

Integrated care for older people is most widespread. The relevant shift is proposed towards the integration of health and social care in order to improve functional potentials and slow down the decline in mental capacities in older people with joint and synchronised actions, thus improving both patient-centric and system-centric outcomes. Despite many examples of efforts, the evidence of successful strategies is limited. The lives of human beings are a continuum of genetic, biological, social, cultural and economic processes. Each stage in life influences the next and determines the health effects or risks. A life course perspective of an integrated conceptual approach is needed to enable long-term health gain. Therefore, the report also focuses on integrated care for younger people. Integrated mental healthcare for children and younger people is most found in the literature.

The report further focuses on integrated care models in the world and delivers some inspiring examples. A critical benchmark was performed across EU member states to distil common practices, highlight disparities, and identify opportunities for improvement by aligning with EU policies and standards. The report continues with an analysis of the implementation of integrated care and well-being to explore the success factors and barriers. Special attention is paid to the use of ICT for social interaction of older adults to age in place. Policy recommendations are described to address the challenges of an ageing society. The conclusion of the report focuses on the recommendations for the Module of the Reference Framework of NET4Age on integrated health and well-being pathways