Stay well at home: Examining changes in planning and social influences


Falls are a major health concern for older adults and both single and multifactorial fall risk reduction programs are effective in reducing falls (Gillespie et al., 2012). As long-term adherence to such programs is a challenge (Simek et al., 2012), a theory guided approach that promotes regulatory behaviours (i.e., action and coping planning) as well as increasing the social influences may be beneficial. This study examined changes in regulatory behaviours and social influences (social support and control) in response to participation in a multifactorial fall risk reduction program. Participants (N=22) were older adults who completed the Stay Well at Home (SWAH) program. SWAH includes progressive exercises, home assessment and modifications, and discussions led by a lay facilitator. Guided by the Health Action Process Approach, discussion topics included action and coping planning and social influences. This 16-week program involved an 8-week in home intensive phase followed by 8 weeks of reduced phone contact with assessments at baseline, weeks 8, and 16. Measures included assessment of action and coping planning (Sniehotta et al., 2005), social support (Cohen et al., 1985), and social control (Kahn et al., 2013). Repeated measures ANOVAs were performed to assess change. Increases were seen for tangible (p=.001) and appraisal support (p=.044) as well as positive social control (p=.001). The change in action planning approached significance (p=.09). Coping planning, belonging support, and negative social control showed no change. These findings suggest some targeted constructs changed (action planning and social influences) but more work is needed to enhance coping planning in SWAH.

Acknowledgments: Research funded by California Wellness Foundation