The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the ‘Walk with Me’ peer-led walking intervention to increase physical activity in inactive older adults: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Conor Cunningham, Maeve O’Doherty, Ruth D. Neill, Michael Adams, Frank Kee, Margaret E. Cupples, Wendy Hardeman, Ellen Elizabeth Anne Simpson, Marie H. Murphy, Chris Callaghan, Roger O’Sullivan, Colette Brolly, Ashley Agus, Cliona McDowell, Bob Laventure, Siobhan Casey, Suzanne M. McDonough, Mark A. Tully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: The proportion of the population aged 65 years or older is increasing. Typically, physical activity and health decline with age, which is why action to promote active ageing is a major public health priority, particularly due to health inequalities in older adults. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Walk with Me peer-led walking intervention for older adults. Methods: This study is a two-arm, assessor-blind, randomised controlled trial. The intervention is a 12-week peer-led walking intervention based on social cognitive theory. Participants in the control group will receive information on active ageing and healthy nutrition. The study will target 348 community-dwelling older adults, aged 60 years or over living in areas of socio-economic disadvantage communities. Trained peer mentors will deliver the intervention. The primary outcome will be a mean between-group change in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at 12 months from baseline, measured using an Actigraph accelerometer. Secondary outcomes will include quality of life, mental wellbeing, blood pressure, BMI and waist circumference. An embedded process evaluation will involve focus groups and participant diaries. Discussion: Evidence-based, cost-effective interventions to promote physical activity in older adults living in socio-economically disadvantaged communities are needed to address health inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-40
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Ageing and Longevity
Volume4
Issue number1
Early online date15 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • older adults
  • peers
  • physical activity
  • randomised control trial

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