The well-being of community-dwelling near-centenarians and centenarians in Hong Kong a qualitative study

Wai Ching Paul Wong, Hi Po Bobo Lau, Chun Fong Noel Kwok, Yee Man Angela Leung, Man Yee Grace Chan, Wai Man Chan, Siu Lan Karen Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hong Kong has one of the highest life expectancy rankings in the world. The number of centenarians and near-centenarians has been increasing locally and internationally. The relative growth of this population is a topic of immense importance for population and health policy makers. Living long and living well are two overlapping but distinct research topics. We previously conducted a quantitative study on 153 near-centenarians and centenarians to explore a wide range of biopsychosocial correlates of health and "living long". This paper reports a follow-up qualitative study examining the potential correlates of "living well" among near-centenarians and centenarians in Hong Kong. Methods. Six cognitively, physically, and psychologically sound community-dwelling elders were purposively recruited from a previous quantitative study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. Results: Four major themes related to living long and well emerged from the responses of the participants: (a) Positive relations with others, (b) Positive events and happiness, (c) Hope for the future, and (d) Positive life attitude. Specifically, we found that having good interpersonal relationships, possessing a collection of positive life events, and maintaining salutary attitudes towards life are considered as important to psychological well-being by long-lived adults in Hong Kong. Most participants perceived their working life as most important to their life history and retired at very old ages. Conclusions: These findings also shed light on the relationships between health, work, and old age.
Original languageEnglish
Article number63
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Chinese culture
  • Community and public health
  • Health and well-being
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Psychology
  • Psychosocial issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this