Background: Active aging has been established as a policy goal for aging societies. We define active aging at the individual level as striving for elements of well-being through activities in relation to a person's goals, functional capacities and opportunities. Increasing evidence suggests that any meaningful activity is beneficial for different aspects of well-being in older people. The aim of the present randomized controlled trial is to test the feasibility and effectiveness of a one-year community-based intervention on active aging. The AGNES intervention aims at increasing older peoples' participation in self-selected valued activities.
Methods: The proposed study is a two-arm single-blinded randomized controlled trial. The intervention group receives individually tailored counselling for an active life (one face-to-face session, four phone calls and supportive written material) and the control group written general health information only. Two hundred older adults aged 75- and 80- year old, with intermediate mobility function and without cognitive impairment, living independently in the municipality of Jyväskylä, Finland, are recruited and randomized with a 1:1 allocation to the intervention and control group. Randomization is computer-generated stratified by sex and age. The primary outcome is active aging and secondary outcomes are well-being, depressive symptoms, quality of life, personal goals, mobility and physical activity. Measures are administered at pre-trial, mid-trial (at 6 months) and post-trial (12 months after baseline).
Discussion: The AGNES intervention study will provide new knowledge on the effects of individualized counselling on active aging and the potential of older people to promote their own well-being.
Trial registration: The trial is registered at ISRCTN - ISRCTN16172390 : Promoting well-being through active aging.
Keywords: Aging; Autonomy support; Behavior change; Individualized counselling; Mobility; Participation; Physical activity; Quality of life; Theory-based intervention.