Feasibility Trial Evaluation of a Peer Volunteering Active Aging Intervention: ACE (Active, Connected, Engaged)

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Authors

  • Janet Withall
  • Mark G Davis
  • Selena Gray
  • Jolanthe De Koning
  • Graham Parkhurst
  • Liz Lloyd
  • Robert Laventure
  • Kenneth R Fox

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham
  • Department for Health, University of Bath, Wessex House 6.9, Claverton, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK.
  • Physical Activity Measurement Consultant, Bwlch, Wales, UK.
  • Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences.
  • Centre for Transport and Society, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.
  • BRISTOL UNIVERSITY
  • Later Life Training LTD, Perthshire, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: ACE (Active, Connected, Engaged) is a theory-informed, pragmatic intervention using peer volunteering support to promote active ageing in socially disengaged, inactive older adults. This study aimed to establish ACE's feasibility and acceptability.

METHODS: Fifty-four older adults were recruited as either peer volunteers (activators; n = 15) or participants (ACEs; n = 39). Participants were randomized to one-to-one support from an activator (ACEs-Intervention [ACEs-I]) or a waiting-list control group (ACEs-Control [ACEs-C]). Activators supported ACEs-I to get out more and engage with local activities. Objectively measured physical activity (PA), lower limb function, and number of out of house activities were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. A mixed-methods process evaluation assessed changes in confidence to get out and about, social support, autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

RESULTS: Eighty-two percent of ACEs (mean age = 73.7 years [SD 7.3]) and all activators completed assessments at both baseline and post-intervention (6 months). ACEs-I reported more out of house activities (M [SD] = 6.34 [4.15]). ACEs-I increased physical function post-intervention (M [SD] = 9.8 [2.3]). ACEs-I reported improved well-being and vitality and increased confidence to get out and about, confidence in the face of specific barriers, knowledge of local initiatives, and perceived social support post-intervention. Activators, although sufficiently active at baseline, increased their PA further. ACE was well-accepted and easy to deliver.

CONCLUSIONS: ACE is an acceptable and feasible intervention for helping socially disengaged older people to get out and about more, improve their confidence, and engage more with their community.

Bibliographic note

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Gerontologist
Early online date19 Feb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Feb 2019