Social participation is important for wellbeing and healthy ageing. Older adults with musculoskeletal conditions are particularly vulnerable to reduced social participation due to retirement from work and the impact of physical disability. Sixty percent of over 65s with musculoskeletal conditions do not participate socially as they would like to. In older people, low social participation is associated with depression and predicts poor mental health related quality of life. Maintaining social participation is associated with improved outcomes: higher levels of social participation at baseline were associated with lower levels of hypertension, obesity and inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein and fibrinogen) at two year follow-up in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, and lower mortality rates in the British Women's Heart and Health Study and community dwelling older adults in the United States. This session will offer opportunities and encourage clinicians and researchers to assess participation in social activities and social roles. It will look at the importance, measurement in clinical practice, and ways to maintain social roles and participation. Pertinent to the chronicity of many musculoskeletal conditions, approaches to maintain participation in life despite the experience of joint symptoms will be highlighted.
Disclosure of Interest None declared