Barriers and Facilitators to the Uptake and Maintenance of Healthy Behaviours by People at Mid-Life: A Rapid Systematic Review.

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Martin, Steven 
Cowan, Andy 

BACKGROUND: With an ageing population, there is an increasing societal impact of ill health in later life. People who adopt healthy behaviours are more likely to age successfully. To engage people in health promotion initiatives in mid-life, a good understanding is needed of why people do not undertake healthy behaviours or engage in unhealthy ones. METHODS: Searches were conducted to identify systematic reviews and qualitative or longitudinal cohort studies that reported mid-life barriers and facilitators to healthy behaviours. Mid-life ranged from 40 to 64 years, but younger adults in disadvantaged or minority groups were also eligible to reflect potential earlier disease onset. Two reviewers independently conducted reference screening and study inclusion. Included studies were assessed for quality. Barriers and facilitators were identified and synthesised into broader themes to allow comparisons across behavioural risks. FINDINGS: From 16,426 titles reviewed, 28 qualitative studies, 11 longitudinal cohort studies and 46 systematic reviews were included. Evidence was found relating to uptake and maintenance of physical activity, diet and eating behaviours, smoking, alcohol, eye care, and other health promoting behaviours and grouped into six themes: health and quality of life, sociocultural factors, the physical environment, access, psychological factors, evidence relating to health inequalities. Most of the available evidence was from developed countries. Barriers that recur across different health behaviours include lack of time (due to family, household and occupational responsibilities), access issues (to transport, facilities and resources), financial costs, entrenched attitudes and behaviours, restrictions in the physical environment, low socioeconomic status, lack of knowledge. Facilitators include a focus on enjoyment, health benefits including healthy ageing, social support, clear messages, and integration of behaviours into lifestyle. Specific issues relating to population and culture were identified relating to health inequalities. CONCLUSIONS: The barriers and facilitators identified can inform the design of tailored interventions for people in mid-life.

Databases, Factual, Health Behavior, Health Promotion, Humans, Minority Groups, Motor Activity, Quality of Life, Self Efficacy, Sex Factors, Social Class
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PLoS One
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Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (unknown)
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (NICE 795 / 740221)
This work was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), invitation to tender reference DDER 42013, and supported by the National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health Research. The scope of the work was defined by NICE and the protocol was agreed with NICE prior to the start of work.