Journal Article

Effects of Sequential Participation in Evidence-Based Health and Wellness Programs Among Older Adults

Shinduk Lee, Matthew Lee Smith, Samuel D Towne and Marcia G Ory

in Innovation in Aging

Volume 2, issue 2
Published online July 2018 | e-ISSN: 2399-5300 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igy016

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  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Geropsychology
  • Care of the Elderly
  • Gerontology and Ageing

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Abstract

Background and Objectives

Evidence suggests participation in evidence-based programs by older adults is effective, yet most studies focus on participation in a single evidence-based program, leaving repeated participation insufficiently understood. We aimed to compare participation in multiple evidence-based programs (repeaters) versus a single evidence-based program (nonrepeaters).

Research Design and Methods

Secondary data analysis was conducted on pre–post longitudinal data targeting older adults participating in evidence-based program(s) in Texas (2013–2016). Surveys included sociodemographic and health-related indicators (e.g., self-rated health, health behaviors, and falls-risks). Mixed-effects models examined pre–post changes in health-related indicators.

Results

Of the 734 study-eligible participants, 145 (20%) participated in two or more evidence-based programs. The participants’ average age was 74 years, and the majority was female (80%), non-Hispanic White (79%), or lived in urban or large rural cities/towns (79%). At baseline, repeaters reported less depressive symptomology (p = .049), fewer chronic conditions (p = .048), and less concern of falling (p = .030) than nonrepeaters. Repeaters had better workshop attendance and completion rates (p < .001). Compared to nonrepeaters, repeaters showed significantly-better improvements in communication with physicians (p = .013).

Discussion and Implications

Study findings suggest potential benefits of participation in multiple evidence-based program workshops, but repeaters may have different health profiles than nonrepeaters in natural settings. Future evaluations should consider participants’ past participations in evidence-based programs. Further research is needed to build more comprehensive evidence about the incremental benefits of participation in multiple evidence-based programs.

Keywords: Evidence-based programs; Lifestyle interventions; Program evaluation; Repeated participation; Translational research

Journal Article.  7886 words. 

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine ; Cell Biology ; Geropsychology ; Care of the Elderly ; Gerontology and Ageing

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