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Understanding older South Asian perceptions of digital health technologies for exercise & falls prevention and testing a translated and adapted Keep on Keep up (KOKU) digital application.

What are we trying to do?

During the pandemic there has been a rapid shift to digital approaches (digitalisation) for delivering health information and daily exercise sessions, including strength and balance activities.  When considering older people, there is emerging evidence that digital approaches can help motivate people to participate, but there is also evidence that digitalisation can lead to greater inequalities because of the digital divide – those people who do not use smart phones, tablets, computers or may not even have the ability to use them due to no connectivity to Wi-Fi.  Our recent research shows that older people, those from minority ethnic groups, those on low incomes or those living in rural areas are more likely to be digitally excluded and experiencing health inequalities as a result of this exclusion.


We know that digital health interventions that are culturally adapted and translated to the needs of specific groups are more likely to be accepted and used, but evidence to support the effectiveness of adapted, personalised health interventions is limited, especially amongst South Asian communities.   We want to learn more about older adults perceptions of digital technologies for improving access to health information related to falls prevention, bone health and hydration.


Why is this important?

Building on previous work in health and digital inequalities, this research directly responds to the Industrial Strategy focus on the societal challenge of improving health inequalities and enabling generations to remain active, productive, independent and socially connected lives.  It also informs the NHS Long Term Plan that welcomes opportunities for ambitious action on health inequalities at a national and local level.  It is directly aligned to the Greater Manchester Independent Inequalities Commission Report, the Office of Health Disparities Wider Impacts of Covid-19 on Physical Activity, Deconditioning and Falls, the Health and Social Care White Paper and forthcoming call for applications to support falls prevention and reconditioning in older people (due Spring/Summer 2022).


How are we doing it?

We will undertake a rapid evidence scoping review to explore older South Asian adults perceptions of digital health technologies for exercise and falls prevention.  This will be followed by a series of sessions with South Asian older adults to explore perceptions and preferences for health literacy and health interventions using a translated and culturally adapted version of the Keep On Keep Up digital application.  At the end of this work we will prepare a final report, including recommendations for policy and practice related to health literacy amongst South Asian communities using digital health technologies. 


Who are we working with?


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Programme Manager
Gill Rizzello

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