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Feasibility trial evaluation of a peer volunteering active aging intervention: ACE (Active, Connected, Engaged)

Stathi, Afroditi; Withall, Janet; Thompson, Janice L; Davis, Mark G; Gray, Selena; De Koning, Jolanthe; Parkhurst, Graham; Lloyd, Liz; Greaves, Colin; Laventure, Robert; Fox, Kenneth R


Afroditi Stathi

Janet Withall

Janice L Thompson

Mark G Davis

Selena Gray

Jolanthe De Koning

Liz Lloyd

Colin Greaves

Robert Laventure

Kenneth R Fox


ACE (Active, Connected, Engaged) is a theory-informed, pragmatic intervention using peer volunteering support to promote active ageing in socially disengaged, inactive older adults. This study aimed to establish ACE’s feasibility and acceptability.
Fifty-four older adults were recruited as either peer volunteers (activators; n=15) or participants (ACEs; n=39). Participants were randomised to one-to-one support from an activator (ACEs-Intervention [ACEs-I]) or a waiting list control group (ACEs-Control [ACEs-C]). Activators supported participants to get out more and engage with local activities. Physical activity [PA] and lower limb function, objectively measured with Actigraph accelerometers and the Short Physical Performance Battery respectively, and number of out of house activities were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. A mixed-methods process evaluation assessed changes in confidence to get out and about, social support, autonomy, competence and relatedness.
Eighty-two percent of ACEs (Mean age=73.7 years (SD 7.3) and all activators completed assessments at both baseline and post-intervention (six months). ACEs-I reported more activities outside the home (M(SD)=6.34 (4.15). ACEs-I had better physical function post-intervention (clinically significant mean difference of 0.98 points (95%CI: -0.38 to 2.3) between ACEs-I and ACEs-C. ACEs-I reported better levels of well-being and vitality and increased confidence to get out and about, confidence in the face of specific barriers, knowledge of local initiatives, and perceived social supportpost-intervention. Activators, although sufficiently active at baseline further increased MVPA by 5.5 mins per day, and also increased their PA levels an average of 927 steps per day.

ACE is an acceptable and feasible programme for helping isolated older people to get out and about more, improve their confidence and engage more with their community.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal The Gerontologist
Print ISSN 0016-9013
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Article Number gnz003
APA6 Citation Stathi, A., Withall, J., Thompson, J. L., Davis, M. G., Gray, S., De Koning, J., …Fox, K. R. (in press). Feasibility trial evaluation of a peer volunteering active aging intervention: ACE (Active, Connected, Engaged). Gerontologist,
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