A preventative lifestyle intervention for older adults (lifestyle matters): a randomised controlled trial

Age Ageing. 2017 Jul 1;46(4):627-634. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afx021.


Objectives: to test whether an occupation-based lifestyle intervention can sustain and improve the mental well-being of adults aged 65 years or over compared to usual care, using an individually randomised controlled trial.

Participants: 288 independently living adults aged 65 years or over, with normal cognition, were recruited from two UK sites between December 2011 and November 2015.

Interventions: lifestyle Matters is a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended multi-component preventive intervention designed to improve the mental well-being of community living older people at risk of decline. It involves weekly group sessions over 4 months and one to one sessions.

Main outcome measures: the primary outcome was mental well-being at 6 months (mental health (MH) dimension of the SF-36). Secondary outcomes included physical health dimensions of the SF-36, extent of depression (PHQ-9), quality of life (EQ-5D) and loneliness (de Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale), assessed at 6 and 24 months.

Results: data on 262 (intervention = 136; usual care = 126) participants were analysed using intention to treat analysis. Mean SF-36 MH scores at 6 months differed by 2.3 points (95 CI: -1.3 to 5.9; P = 0.209) after adjustments.

Conclusions: analysis shows little evidence of clinical or cost-effectiveness in the recruited population with analysis of the primary outcome revealing that the study participants were mentally well at baseline. The results pose questions regarding how preventive interventions to promote well-being in older adults can be effectively targeted in the absence of proactive mechanisms to identify those who at risk of decline.

Trial registration: ISRCTN67209155.

Keywords: Older people; mental health; occupational health; randomised controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Depression / psychology
  • England
  • Female
  • Group Processes*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Promotion* / economics
  • Humans
  • Intention to Treat Analysis
  • Loneliness
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Occupational Health* / economics
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Social Isolation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Wales