Scaling out: Implementation of a health promotion model for older adults in small urban, rural and remote regions of BC


Executive sponsor:

  • Matt Herman
    BC Ministry of Health

In Canada, there are more older adults than children, and the proportion of seniors is projected to exceed 30% by the year 2050. Despite the inextricable link between physical activity and chronic disease prevention, older adults are the least active Canadians. Thus, strategies that effectively enhance physical activity are key for preserving older adults’ health and independence.

In partnership with BC Ministry of Health, the Choose to Move (CTM) program was designed and implemented. CTM is an evidence-based, scalable upstream solution that effectively enhances older adult physical activity and mobility and reduces social isolation.

Two delivery partners were engaged who had the experience and reach to deliver CTM in primarily urban centres across BC. Together we implemented CTM in urban centres, but there is a dearth of literature about how best to effectively scale out health promotion strategies outside of urban centres.

The aim of this project is to evaluate ‘scale out’ of CTM adapted for rural, remote and small urban communities across BC. This work will build upon lessons learned in CTM and engage an array of community organizations to assist in creating an implementation strategy and action plan.

The overall research objectives are to:

  1. Describe adaptation, and factors that promote or inhibit scale out of CTM.
  2. Describe contextual factors that influence implementation of CTM at scale out sites.
  3. Create a general guideline document that supports effective implementation of upstream health initiatives in remote and rural settings.
  4. Assess the health impact of the CTM program adapted for rural, remote and small urban settings.

Our target rural, remote and small urban communities are those who were in receipt of Choose to Move community grants (2018-2020), from the tiny, rural Village of Granisle near Smithers, to transport-limited older adults on Hornby and Denman Islands and marginalized elders from Mission’s Seabird Island Band.