Lifestyle Matters Randomized Controlled Trial of a Preventive Health Intervention for Older People: Qualitative Sub Study with Participants and Intervention Facilitators
Received 23 September 2019
Accepted for publication 13 December 2019
Published 20 February 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 239—253
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker
Gail Mountain,1 Kirsty Sprange,2 Robin Chatters1
1School of Health and Related Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; 2Faculty of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
Correspondence: Gail Mountain
School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Regent Court, Regent Street, Sheffield S1 4DA, UK
Tel +44 75 4067 1442
Objective: This qualitative study embedded within a randomized controlled trial was conducted to explore the acceptability, experiences of, and short-term impact of a preventive health intervention (Lifestyle Matters) from the perspectives of those who took part, and to uncover any evidence for the theorised mechanisms of action (improved participation and self efficacy) underpinning the intervention. It was also conducted to help explain the quantitative trial results.
Methods: A purposive sample of 13 trial participants who had been randomized to receive the Lifestyle Matters intervention (approximately 10%) were individually qualitatively interviewed immediately following their involvement. All four intervention facilitators were also individually interviewed.
Results: Evidence of the hypothesized behavioural changes could be identified within the interview data, demonstrating the potential of this intervention. However, lack of adherence to the overall intervention eroded receipt of benefit. This finding complements the quantitative trial results which found that the study had failed to recruit those who considered themselves to be at risk of age-related decline.
Conclusion: This form of preventive health intervention requires proactive identification of those who recognise the need to make lifestyle changes. This is difficult if reactive health and social care systems are the main referral routes. The methodological approaches taken towards the study of complex interventions requires reconsideration if potential benefits are to be accurately assessed.
Clinical Trial Registration: ISRCTN67209155
Keywords: preventive health intervention, older people, qualitative study, randomized controlled trial
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