University of Limerick
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How to improve recruitment, sustainability and scalability in physical activity programmes for adults aged 50 years and older: A qualitative study of key stakeholder perspectives

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Version 2 2023-05-29, 15:12
Version 1 2022-05-23, 09:34
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-29, 15:12 authored by Andrew O'ReganAndrew O'Regan, Enrique García BengoecheaEnrique García Bengoechea, Amanda M. Clifford, Monica CaseyMonica Casey, Stephen Gallagher, Liam G. Glynn, Ciaran Doyle, Catherine B. Woods
Physical inactivity among adults aged 50 years and over is a worldwide health concern. The objectives of the study were to investigate the perspectives of those involved with existing physical activity programmes on optimising recruitment, sustainability and scalability of physical activity programmes for adults aged 50 years and over. Methods The study was conducted in Ireland’s Midwest region, where community-based physical activity programmes are delivered to groups by state-funded Local Sports Partnerships. Programme attendees, physical activity professionals and community advocates were recruited. One-to-one interviews and focus groups were conducted in 2018, recorded, transcribed and analysed by an interdisciplinary team experienced in qualitative research. Over a series of meetings, a thematic approach was used to code and analyse the transcripts, categorising data into higher order codes, themes and overarching themes with the purpose of making meaning of the data. Twenty-nine people participated in four focus groups and 18 participated in one-to-one interviews. Findings Data analysis produced three overarching themes. “Age appropriate” explains how communication and the environment should be adapted to the needs of adults aged 50 years and older. “Culture and connection” refer to the interplay of individual and social factors that influence participation, including individual fears and insecurities, group cohesion and added value beyond the physical gains in these programmes. “Roles and partnerships” outlines how key collaborations may be identified and managed and how local ownership is key to success and scalability. Conclusion Successful recruitment, sustainability and scalability require an understanding that the target population has unique needs that must be catered for when planning interventions, communicating messages and choosing personnel. The findings of this study can inform the development of community-based programmes to increase physical activity in adults aged 50 years and older.



PLoS ONE;159(10), e0240974


Public Library of Science



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Health and Positive Ageing



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