The Healthy Living theme focuses on the prevention of ill health and promotion of positive health and wellbeing for people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
This theme is important because many of the key health behaviours that contribute to the development of chronic disease follow the social gradient such as smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity and poor nutrition. Reducing health inequalities therefore requires a focus on these health behaviours and the implementation of evidence-based interventions that relate to the social determinants of health.
The Marmot review (2010) sets out six policy objectives that are required to reduce health inequalities. Included in those objectives is the need to strengthen the role and impact of ill-health prevention. A range of stakeholders, including local and national government departments, workplace, schools and communities all have the potential to help or hinder ill-health prevention and so a partnership approach to research in this area is essential.
Current CHAD projects that sit within this theme are:
- Evaluation of the Cancer Lifestyle Project
- Evaluation of Thinking Active
Evaluation of the Cancer Lifestyle Project
The North Staffordshire Cancer Lifestyle Project, established by the Beth Johnson Foundation in November 2015, provides support for people living with or after cancer. Its main aim is to increase the levels of physical activity, healthy eating and wellbeing amongst people aged 50+ who are living with or after a diagnosis of cancer. The Project provides 1-to-1 support to help people achieve long term behaviour change in order to improve their wellbeing.
Research suggests that physical activity has a range of benefits for people with cancer, such as improved quality of life, improved physical function and psychosocial benefits (Sabiston and Brunet, 2012). Furthermore, physical activity and healthy eating can reduce the risk of other health conditions such as diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and obesity (Demark-Wahnefried and Jones, 2008).
CHAD are conducting an independent evaluation of the Project. The evaluation is a mixed methods study, combining secondary quantitative data analysis and primary qualitative data collection. We will analyse Project data (baseline and follow up) and conduct interviews with clients to:
- Examine whether participant involvement with the Cancer Lifestyle Project has led to an increase in physical activity and healthy eating since they joined the project
- Examine the delivery and impact of the Project from the clients’ perspective
- Explore the impact of the Project on clients’ well-being and quality of life.
We are due to complete the evaluation by the end of August 2017.
For more information about the Project, please visit Beth Johnson Foundation’s website here.
Sabiston, C.M. and Brunet, J. (2012). Reviewing the benefits of physical activity during cancer survivorship. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. Vol. 6, Issue 2: pp. 167-177.
Demark-Wahnefried, W. and Jones, L.W. (2008). Promoting a healthy lifestyle among cancer survivors. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. Vol. 22, Issue 2: pp. 319-342.
Evaluation of Thinking Active
Dementia affects 35 million people worldwide, 850,000 people in the UK and approximately 12,000 people in Staffordshire. Research has shown that regular participation in physical, mental and social activities is associated with a reduction in dementia. Staffordshire County Council has commissioned the delivery of ‘Thinking Active’ – a 14-week pilot programme that combines physical activity with Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) for individuals with a diagnosis of mild to moderate dementia. With the aim to be a sustainable community delivered programme, ‘Thinking Active’ is being piloted in four areas across Staffordshire – Parkwood Community Leisure (Staffordshire Moorlands), Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (Cannock), COGS for Life (Burntwood) and Age UK South Staffordshire (Penkridge).
CHAD is carrying out a mixed methods evaluation of the programme, with the aim of understanding the process of delivering Thinking Active in addition to the impact the programme has had on participants and their caregivers.
We aim to report on the evaluation by August 2017.