• 2Dec

    What works in behaviour change programmes for older people?

    Public Health England have published a review of interventions across a range of health behaviours for older adults, to help identify what types of interventions support the uptake and maintenance of healthy behaviours and promote cognitive health among older adults living in the community.

    The resource is intended for local authority and clinical commissioning groups, and the producers/providers of lifestyle behaviour change programmes and resources, to support the development of evidence-informed prevention packages for older adults.

    Key findings include:

    • Complex multi-component interventions or “healthy ageing programmes”  (targeting three or more health behaviours) could be effective at maintaining or improving cognitive outcomes in older adults.
    • Interventions combining cognitive and physical training or diet and physical training could be effective at maintaining or improving cognitive outcomes in older adults.
    • The long-term effect of multi-component interventions on cognitive/dementia outcomes is unknown.
    • There is insufficient evidence to conclude on the effect of interventions targeting other combinations of health behaviours.
    • There is limited evidence for how multi-component interventions compare with interventions targeted at changing only one health behaviour.
    • There is limited evidence for the cost-effectiveness of multi-component interventions
    • Implementation of multicomponent interventions should come with built-in evaluation to monitor outcomes and strengthen the evidence base.
    • Disadvantaged and minority groups have been understudied. Little evidence is available to guide interventions in these subgroups of older adults.
    • Interest in multi-domain/multi-component interventions has increased recently and several trials are ongoing or had not yet published findings when the searches for these reviews were conducted.

    The full report can be read on the Public Health England website.