The AgeWell study of behavior change to promote health and wellbeing in later life: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
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BACKGROUND: Lifestyle factors playing a role in the development of late-life disability may be modifiable. There is a need for robust evidence about the potential for prevention of disability through behavior change interventions. METHODS/DESIGN: This feasibility study involves the development, implementation and initial testing of a behavior change intervention in a naturalistic setting. A small-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) will investigate the implementation of a goal-setting intervention aimed at promoting behavior change in the domains of physical and cognitive activity in the context of a community resource center for over-50s. Healthy older participants attending the center (n = 75) will be randomized to one of three conditions: control (an interview involving a general discussion about the center); goal-setting (an interview involving identification of up to five personal goals in the domains of physical activity, cognitive activity, diet and health, and social engagement); or goal-setting with mentoring (the goal-setting interview followed by bi-monthly telephone mentoring). All participants will be reassessed after 12 months. Primary outcomes are levels of physical and cognitive activity. Secondary outcomes address psychosocial (self-efficacy, mood, quality of life), cognitive (memory and executive function), and physical fitness (functional and metabolic) domains. Cost-effectiveness will also be examined. DISCUSSION: This study will provide information about the feasibility of a community-based lifestyle intervention model for over-50s and of the implementation of a goal-setting intervention for behavior change, together with initial evidence about the short-term effects of goal-setting on behavior. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN30080637 (http://www.controlled-trials.com).
This study is funded by the Medical Research Council (UK) through the Lifelong Health and Well-being programme. The funder plays no role in the design of the study, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. Professors Carol Brayne, Martin Knapp, Mike Martin, and Robin Morris advised on and critically reviewed the study proposal. John Clifford Jones, Maldwyn Roberts, and Stephen Williams of Age Cymru Gwynedd a Môn are responsible for setting up and managing the Nefyn AgeWell Centre. Julie Nixon is conducting the interviews and Jennifer Cooney is contributing to data collection. Anne Krayer will collect and analyze qualitative data for the biographical narrative analysis. Blood samples are analyzed by NHS laboratory staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor. Sources of funding for each author are as follows: LC: Higher Education Funding Council for Wales; JVH: National Health Service/ Welsh Assembly Government; IRJ: Higher Education Funding Council for Wales; SMN: Medical Research Council grant; JT: Higher Education Funding Council for Wales; CJW: Welsh Assembly Government.
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Vol. 13, pp. 115 - 124
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