Wellbeing programme helping Fifers with long-term health conditions

A health and wellbeing programme to help Fifers with long-term health conditions, has been featured in a study by Edinburgh Napier University.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:08 am

The award-winning project run by Fife Sports and Leisure Trust was chosen by the university’s researchers to examine if gender differences influenced uptake, adherence and experience of physical activity referral schemes.

It is currently running in north-east Fife to support people living with conditions such as diabetes, COPD, obesity, heart disease, cancer and dementia.

It is self funded and records around 3,900 attendances a month.

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John Brand at Cupar Leisure Centre

The findings of the research are now being used by the trust to modify its programme so that it better meets the needs of locals who are referred onto its health programme.

The university’s researchers interviewed 136 people prior to attending the health programme, at 12 weeks and then one year after participation.

Results show that men and women valued the scheme equally, and that adherence to the programme was not determined by gender but living in an affluent area. Those living in more deprived areas were more likely to be negatively impacted by social circumstances, health and transport.

The findings also showed that the health programme was effective in delivering and increasing participation in physical activity.

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John Brand from Cupar, who attends classes at Cupar Leisure Centre with his wife Martha, said: “Since we got back to classes three months ago, we are feeling the benefits already. The classes are great for overall health and it’s great to see fellow class members again.”

Fiona Prendergast, wellbeing and programming manager, explained: “The trust’s health programme has been shown to significantly improve people’s health and wellbeing outcomes following participation in our instructor-led sessions – they report improvement in health conditions, improved balance, strength and mobility, weight loss and sometimes, decreased medication use – all of which positively impact on front line health services.

“However, in order to action some of the report’s findings such as improved and personalised communication with participants, greater individualised physical activity, targeted support for people on lower incomes and sessions catering for under 65s, we need to secure additional funding to help deliver programme enhancements.

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