Dissemination and Implementation of “Aging Well and Healthily”: A Health-Education and Exercise Program for Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The article describes the dissemination and implementation of the Aging Well and Healthily (AWH) program in the Netherlands. In the period 1997–1999 this process was monitored by means of telephone interviews with 263 participants, 28 peer educators, and 13 organizers. The program participants were mainly physically active and relatively healthy people in their mid 70s. The peer educators were in their late 50s. The overall satisfaction with the content and delivery of the AWH program was good; 13% of the participants enrolled in related local sports activities. In total, the AWH program was run 57 times, which did not meet the target of 50 times a year. Different factors could have negatively influenced dissemination. In the first place, the organization of the program was perceived to be complex and not compatible with the values of the organizations that were to implement the program. Also, 3 national implementation partners had organizational problems of their own. The results were used to design a new social marketing strategy, which appears to be successful.

Westhoff is now with the Netherlands Heart Foundation, 2501 CH The Hague, the Netherlands. Hopman-Rock is with TNO Prevention and Health, 2301 CE Leiden, the Netherlands, and Body@Work Research Center TNO VU.

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