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Social Research

Evaluation of the introduction of the ‘Add to your Life’ health and wellbeing check for over 50s

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  • Release date: 28 January 2015
A formative evaluation was commissioned to assist with the development and testing of the health checks programme.

In this report, Add to your Life is not assessed on rates of completion but by how users respond to the questions in the online tool and to the feedback advice and information.

Key findings

  • The level of support provided by Communities First staff went beyond that originally intended. In practice, Communities First staff were involved in explaining questions and responses, discussion of the feedback and offering practical advice and emotional support.
  • Delivery staff reported challenges in engaging men, people who are not in contact with services, and those aged over 70. People with low IT literacy held a suspicion of web-based tools, creating a barrier to completion or registration.
  • Overall the design of Add to your Life was positively received. It was viewed as easy to navigate. Completing Add to your Life was considered useful by users who received staff support as it gave them the opportunity to discuss their health and lifestyle choices. In particular, the social aspect of completing Add to your Life in a group setting with support was appreciated. It was felt to be less useful by those who completed it without support.
  • The Welsh language version - this was thought to use overly formal language and therefore was considered less accessible than the English version by users whose first language is Welsh.
  • The content - there was a tension in users perceiving the tool to be ‘too general’ or ‘not personalised enough’.
  • The feedback - there was an expectation among users that they would receive feedback that was more personalised. Feedback content was considered too dense, too long, and not visually attractive.
  • The feedback advice and information users received generally confirmed what they already knew about their health and wellbeing status. In some instances it re-affirmed an intention to change behaviour. It was too early in the life of this initiative to report in any comprehensive way about progress made towards the outcomes related to an 'increase in healthy behaviours'. Suggestions to help achieve behaviour change included: goal setting, providing information about local services, and tracking progress and change by completing Add to your Life at regular intervals.

Contact

Tel: 029 2082 6539
Email: janine.hale@wales.gsi.gov.uk

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