The acceptability of a balance training website: A qualitative study

Authors: Nyman, S.R. and Yardley, L.

Conference: BPS Health Psychology Self Management of Mental & Physical Health in Acute and Chronic Conditions Conference

Dates: November 2006


Aims and objectives of the poster: Introduce the website we created and present the findings of its first evaluation.

Brief outline of the poster: Background: This study investigated the acceptability of a website that uses behaviour change theory and tailoring to encourage older adults to take up balance training for preventing falls.

Methods: Sixteen older adults interacted with the website and gave their views in interviews comprising both ‘think aloud’ and semi-structured interview techniques. Participants’ views were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. The analysis concerned usability issues, the participants’ reactions to the advice, the reasons for their choices on the interactive webpages, and general comments on the website.

Findings: Some participants underestimated how much activity was enough to improve balance, whereas others perceived themselves as too old for balance training. The participants selected balance training activities out of interest and or enjoyment, and realistically planned to do them within their current routine. The website was generally well received, with only one usability issue identified for correction.

Discussion: Evidence from previous studies has suggested that older adults can be reluctant to accept general falls prevention advice. In contrast, this study suggested that advice to take up balance training to prevent falls can be well received. Further advice will need to be developed to tackle common misconceptions such as “I do enough activity” and “I’m too old for balance training”.

Source: Manual