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The Active Ageing Pathway Evaluation

The Active Ageing Pathway Evaluation

The Active Ageing Pathway Evaluation project logos

The Active Ageing Pathway Evaluation seeks to explore the mechanisms by which a novel physical activity pathway facilitates physical activity behaviour change in inactive older adults in Dorset.

Who is involved in the project?

The Active Ageing Pathway Evaluation is a collaborative project between the Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit (BUCRU) and Active Dorset, and is funded by Sport England.  Active Dorset is a local organisation responsible for creating the conditions for local people to choose an active lifestyle through participation in sport and physical activity.

What is the aim of the project?

The Active Ageing Pathway was designed by Active Dorset to help reduce the number of inactive older adults in Dorset, through removing the numerous barriers to physical activity participation, and bringing together the various services that Dorset residents already have access to, into one streamlined system. The goal of the pathway is to make it more straightforward, achievable and sustainable to start and then maintain an active lifestyle. (You can find out more information about the Active Ageing Pathway Project on the Active Dorset website.

On behalf of Active Dorset, the Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit is carrying out part of the evaluation for this project, focused on exploring how different elements of the Dorset physical activity system support older adults to become more active. This work began in November 2018, and following some unexpected delays related to Covid-19, is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. There are 3 strands to the work:

1. A procedural study to deconstruct and characterise the content of the overall Dorset physical activity system and identify the behaviour change techniques it uses.
2. A qualitative study to explore how the LiveWell Dorset behaviour change support service influences older adults’ physical activity behaviour.
3. A qualitative study to explore how online Wellbeing Events influence older adults’ physical activity behaviour.

Active Dorset hope to use the outcomes of this work to shape their knowledge and optimise the physical activity services they provide, in order to make a difference to the lives of older adults living in Dorset.

What research approach will the project take?

Qualitative research will be carried out by the BUCRU research team to achieve the above objectives, in the form of interviews and questionnaires with individuals that pass through the Active Ageing Pathway, at different stages of their ‘pathway journey’.

Secondary research activities will include the systematic application of a theoretical behaviour change framework to the Active Ageing Pathway in order to underpin its design with an empirical foundation, and aid the development of the interview and questionnaire topic guides, as well as patient and public involvement (PPI) consultation on the suitability of proposed research protocols.

What are the time-lines of the project?

The Active Ageing Pathway Evaluation commenced in November 2018 and has unfortunately been delayed because of Covid19 and will conclude by the end of 2021.