Evidence-Based Programs for Older Adults: A Disconnect Between U.S. National Strategy and Local Senior Center Implementation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

While U.S. national policies have been developed to support evidence-based (EB) lifestyle programs for older adults, there has been limited research to determine the extent to which these programs actually reach local communities. This study sought to identify factors that impact the implementation of EB physical activity, nutrition, and chronic disease management programs at regional (Area Agencies on Aging [AAAs]) and community levels (senior Centers [SCs]). Interviews were conducted with directors of four AAAs and 12 SCs to understand their perspectives on EB program implementation. Narratives revealed differences between AAAs and SCs regarding knowledge about EB programs and reasons to promote and adopt these programs. The only agreement occurred when discussing concerns about funding and program inflexibility. Substantial gaps exist between how EB lifestyle programs are promoted and implemented at the regional and community levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-19
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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Senior Centers
Life Style
evidence
Disease Management
Chronic Disease
Interviews
community
Research
nutrition
director
funding
Disease
narrative

Keywords

  • Aging
  • chronic disease
  • implementation
  • physical activity
  • policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

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abstract = "While U.S. national policies have been developed to support evidence-based (EB) lifestyle programs for older adults, there has been limited research to determine the extent to which these programs actually reach local communities. This study sought to identify factors that impact the implementation of EB physical activity, nutrition, and chronic disease management programs at regional (Area Agencies on Aging [AAAs]) and community levels (senior Centers [SCs]). Interviews were conducted with directors of four AAAs and 12 SCs to understand their perspectives on EB program implementation. Narratives revealed differences between AAAs and SCs regarding knowledge about EB programs and reasons to promote and adopt these programs. The only agreement occurred when discussing concerns about funding and program inflexibility. Substantial gaps exist between how EB lifestyle programs are promoted and implemented at the regional and community levels.",
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