A behavioural activation intervention to increase engagement with life and wellbeing in older adults: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

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Abstract

Background: Meaningful activity engagement is a critical element of ageing well. Interventions designed to increase activity engagement tend to be activity-specific and do not always meet the needs of older adults with diverse interests and capacities. Behavioural activation (BA) provides a promising person-centred framework for promoting engagement in valued activities. This study will examine the effectiveness of a behavioural activation-based intervention for promoting engagement with life and wellbeing among older adults. 

Method: Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two conditions (BA intervention, Active Control) and take part in a six-week intervention that consists of one-on-one weekly sessions of up to one hour to be administered either via telephone or online video conferencing with a trained facilitator. This study will recruit 120 + participants aged 65 + who score at or below the median on a test of life engagement. Participants will complete questionnaires of primary and secondary measures both pre-program, one-week and three months post-program. Participants will also complete a daily diary questionnaire during the fourth and fifth weeks of the intervention. The primary outcome measure is the Life Engagement Test, and secondary outcome measures include assessments of subjective wellbeing, psychological wellbeing, mental health, self-reported health, social engagement, loneliness and life satisfaction. 

Discussion: The outcomes from this study will provide evidence as to whether a BA based approach represents an effective method for promoting engagement with life and wellbeing among older community-dwelling adults. 

Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (Reg no. ACTRN 12621001192875). Trial retrospectively registered 6th September, 2021.

Original languageEnglish
Article number288
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Psychology
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Activity engagement
  • Behavioural activation
  • Older adults
  • Positive psychology
  • Protocol
  • RCT
  • Wellbeing

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