The impact of (early) retirement on the subsequent physical and mental health of the retired: a survey among general practitioners in Belgium
Objectives: to investigate, on the basis of the perceptions of general practitioners (GPs) in Belgium, the impact of (early) retirement on subsequent physical and mental health. Method: A cross-sectional survey on the basis of a self-completed anonymous questionnaire sent at random to 120 GPs in Flanders (Belgium) to which 81 responded. Results: According to GPs, the mere fact of retiring early may be a (very) important cause of mental health problems, in particular depressions (due to the disappearance of social networks) and deterioration of cognitive capacities. GPs claim that most physical health problems that appear after retirement, like obesity and cardiovascular diseases, are due to insufficient adaptation (in terms of food consumption and physical activities) of the retired to a new lifestyle.Conclusion: GPs claim that health problems may frequently arise as a consequence of the retirement event. Since the factors causing these problems point to unhealthy behaviour, there is scope for health improvement: firstly, by stimulating older people to postpone retirement or to continue some professional activities during retirement and secondly, by making them aware of the role of social networks, physical activity and food consumption. At the same time, this would help to control increasing pension and health care expenditures.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2011|
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