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European Welfare Models and Mental Wellbeing in Final Years of Life - EMMY

The EMMY Project is an interdisciplinary and mixed methods comparative study on impact of welfare systems on mental wellbeing among the oldest old in Finland, Italy, Norway and Spain.

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About the project

The overarching aim of this interdisciplinary, comparative research project is to improve our knowledge and understanding of how different welfare models and related policies, as well as health and social care service approaches, can benefit from adaptation in order to target mental wellbeing in the oldest-old.

We will use mixed methods. We will also make use of the comprehensive existing population datasets when identifying and comparing the factors associated with mental wellbeing in the oldest population groups in four different countries: Finland, Norway, Spain and Italy.

During the project period, we will:

  • delineate the concept of mental wellbeing at old age by qualitative methods
  • dissect the links between welfare systems and mental wellbeing by quantitative methods
  • support exchange of good policies between EU Member States by performing case studies of existing welfare policies and systems in the four participating countries
  • develop a new research-based tool for assessing the mental wellbeing impact of welfare policies in old people.

We will support development of social welfare models in order to incorporate a change of focus from mental disorders to mental wellbeing among old people. This is important, not only because of the ageing of the European population, but also because of increasing pressures on public finances, within and beyond Europe.


Kalseth, J., Donisi, V., Miret, M., Forsman, A. K., & Cresswell-Smith, J. (2022). Exploring the Association between Welfare State and Mental Wellbeing in Europe: Does Age Matter?. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(17), 10985.

Cresswell-Smith, J., Wahlbeck, K., & Kalseth, J. (2022). Life Conditions as Mediators of Welfare State Effect on Mental Wellbeing among Oldest Old in Europe. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(7), 4363.

Donisi, V., Tedeschi, F., Gonzalez-Caballero, J. L., Cresswell-Smith, J., Lara, E., Miret, M., ... & Kalseth, J. (2020). Is Mental Well-Being in the Oldest Old Different from That in Younger Age Groups? Exploring the Mental Well-Being of the Oldest-Old Population in Europe. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1-25.

Martín-María, N., Lara, E., Cresswell-Smith, J., Forsman, A. K., Kalseth, J., Donisi, V., ... & Miret, M. (2020). Instruments to evaluate mental well-being in old age: a systematic reviewAging & Mental Health, 1-15.

Cresswell-Smith, J., Amaddeo, F., Donisi, V., Forsman, A. K., Kalseth, J., Martin-Maria, N., Miret, M. & Walhbeck, K. (2018). Determinants of multidimensional mental wellbeing in the oldest old: a rapid reviewSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 1-10.

Elvira Lara, Natalia Martín-María, Anna K. Forsman, Johanna Cresswell-Smith, Valeria Donisi, Marian Ådnanes, Jannike Kaasbøll, Line Melby, Johanna Nordmyr, Linda Nyholm, Laura Rabbi, Francesco Amaddeo & Marta Miret (2020). Understanding the multi-dimensional mental well-being in late life: Evidence from the perspective of the oldest old population. Journal of Happiness Studies, 21, 465-484.

Conference presentations

Kalseth, J. Welfare system outcomes and mental wellbeing; findings from the European Social Survey. European welfare models and mental wellbeing in final years of life. EMMY - final conference. December 12, 2019. The Pagoda. School of Medicine. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Madrid Spain.

Ådnanes, M., Melby, L., Kaasbøll, J., & Kalseth, J. (2019). Mental wellbeing among the oldest old, living in nursing home or at homeEuropean Journal of Public Health29(Supplement_4), ckz186-592.

Kalseth, J. (2019). Welfare state impact on mental wellbeing of the oldest old in Europe: A multilevel survey data studyEuropean Journal of Public Health29(Supplement_4), ckz187-085.

Kalseth, J; Tedechi, F; González Caballero, JL; Donisi, V. Exploring the constructs of mental wellbeing in the oldest old: an analysis of ESS survey data. ENMESH, 2019-0606-2019-06-08

Donisi, V., Tedeschi, F., Kalseth, J., Lara, E., Martín-María, N., Miret, M., ... & Amaddeo, F. (2018, June). Self-rated wellbeing and general health in final years of life: An exploratory population-based study among the oldest old. In Journal of Psychosomatic Research (Vol. 109, pp. 100-100). EAPM 2018; 2018-06-27 - 2018-06-30

Lara, E; Martin-Maria, N.; Ådnanes, Marian; Amaddeo, F.; Cresswell-Smith, Johanna; Donisi, Valeria; Forsman, Anna K.; Grigoletti, Laura; Halvorsen, Thomas; Kalseth, Jorid; Kaasbøll, Jannike; Nyholm, Linda; Melby, Line; Nordmyr, J; Rabbi, L.; Wahlbeck, K; Miret, Marta. Mental well-being and its determinants among the oldest old. In Journal of Psychosomatic Research (Vol. 109, pp. 113-114) EAPM 2018; 2018-06-27 - 2018-06-30.

Key Factors

Project duration

2017 - 2020

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