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Current Geriatrics Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 202–211 | Cite as

The Use of Peer-Led Community-Based Programs to Promote Healthy Aging

  • B. M. Wurzer
  • E. J. Hurkmans
  • Debra L. Waters
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation (O Addison, Section Editor)
  • 119 Downloads
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Physical activity interventions aimed at older adults are frequently lead by younger trained professionals, often who have not experienced age-related changes in health status. The goal of this paper was to describe peer-led community-based interventions to assess whether this model is feasible for improving overall health and physical functioning.

Recent Findings

Twelve studies were included, with six different peer-led community-based programs: (1) Physical Training and Nutrition, (2) Project Healthy Bones, (3) Steady As You Go, (4) A Matter of Balance/Volunteer Lay Leader Program, (5) Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyles, and (6) Healthy Changes Program.

Summary

All programs showed positive effects on physical function, fall efficacy, quality of life, self-efficacy, and self-perceived health. Some reported decreased falls, frailty, and improved social activity. Peer-led programs appear promising to maintain and improve physical and social health. More research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of this approach for improving health and physical function, and reduce falls, and also assess long-term benefits and costs of this community-based intervention for older adults.

Keywords

Community-based Peer-led Exercise intervention Physical activity Older adults 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Emalie Hurkmans, Birgit Wurzer, and Debra Waters declare no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. M. Wurzer
    • 1
  • E. J. Hurkmans
    • 2
  • Debra L. Waters
    • 3
  1. 1.School of PhysiotherapyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology, Physical Activity, Sport and Health Research GroupKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.School of Physiotherapy and Department of MedicineUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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