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Health promotion for mild frailty based on behaviour change: perceptions of older people and service providers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Christina Avgerinou, Benjamin Gardner, Kalpa Kharicha, Rachael Frost, Ann Liljas, Rekha Elaswarapu, Jill Manthorpe, Vari M. Drennan, Claire Goodman, Steve Iliffe, Kate Walters

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1343
Number of pages11
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number5
Early online date31 May 2019
Accepted/In press26 Apr 2019
E-pub ahead of print31 May 2019
Published31 May 2019


King's Authors


Mild frailty is common among older people, but it is potentially reversible with health promotion interventions. Behaviour change may be key to preventing progression of frailty, however we know little about what interventions work best and how a behaviour change approach would be perceived by this group. The aim of this study was to explore how mildly frail older people perceive health promotion based on behaviour change and what factors affect engagement with this approach. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 older people with mild frailty who received a pilot home-based behaviour change health promotion service, including a dyad of older person/family carer, and two service providers delivering the service in two diverse areas of South England. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and thematically analysed. The concept of goal setting was acceptable to most participants, though the process of goal setting needed time and consideration. Goals on maintaining independence, monitoring of progress and receiving feedback were reported to increase motivation. Physical/mental capability and knowledge/perception of own needs were main determinants of the type of goals chosen by participants as well as the approach used by the project workers. Older people with complex needs benefited from care coordination, with a combination of goal setting and elements of social, practical and emotional support in varying proportions. Mildly frail older people responded well to a behaviour change approach to promote health and wellbeing. Further consideration is needed of the most effective strategies based on complexity of needs, and how to overcome barriers among people with cognitive impairment.

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