Understanding the enablers to implementing sustainable health and well- being programs for older adults in rural Australia: A scoping review

Belinda Cash, Michael Lawless, Kristy Robson, Shanna Fealy, Denise Corboy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Introduction: Supporting the health and well-being of older Australians necessitates
the implementation of effective and sustainable community-based interventions. Rural settings, however, pose unique challenges to intervention implementation and sustainability, with limited research exploring strategies employed to overcome these complexities.
Objective: To identify enabling strategies that support the sustainable implementation
of community-based health and well-being interventions for older adults in rural Australia.
Design: A scoping review, following methods by Arksey and O'Malley and enhanced by elements of the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for scoping reviews and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR), was conducted. An electronic search of seven databases was completed in April 2023. A thematic analysis was applied to provide a comprehensive and contextualised understanding of the phenomenon of interest.
Findings: Of 1277 records screened, 15 studies were identified and included for review. Five themes identified key enablers for rural implementation: (1) Co-designing for the local context; (2) Embedding local champions; (3) Leveraging existing local resources; (4) Maintaining impact beyond the end of the funded period and (5) Flexibility in funding models.
Discussion: The sustainable implementation of interventions requires active community involvement and consultation through all stages of program design and delivery to effectively meet the health and well-being needs of older rural-dwelling Australians.
Conclusion: Our findings advocate for clear implementation guidelines to support the design, delivery and adaptation of community-based programs that appropriately reflect the unique contextual needs and strengths of rural communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberDOI: 10.1111/ajr.13111
Pages (from-to)419-432
Number of pages14
JournalThe Australian journal of rural health
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2024


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