Research puts healthy ageing under the spotlight

Published 3 October 2012

As Australia’s population ages researchers at Southern Cross University are attempting to understand what keeps older people healthy.

Dr Rosanne Coutts and Dr Sonya Brownie, of the University’s School of Health and Human Sciences, are conducting research into the health and wellbeing of older Australians and are asking people aged over 60 to join a focus group as part of the study.

They hope their study will assist worldwide efforts to better understand how communities can make healthy lifestyle choices.

“One of the things we are particularly interested in is where older people obtain their information about keeping healthy. What would people like to know and where is the best place for them to find the information they require,” Dr Brownie said.

“We believe there is a real problem for older people in accessing knowledge that is useful to them.”

The study will take place with focus groups of five or six people.

“It will only take two hours of a person’s time and will be an enjoyable experience,” Dr Coutts said.

“We sit down and have some refreshments, chat together and fill out a survey that we can use for our research.

“The purpose of the focus group is in no way intended as a test of your knowledge on the topic, we are simply interested in finding out what you have to say about matters related to health and wellbeing.

“In other words, we want to know more about the influences and factors on health and wellbeing that affect you from day-to-day. We would love to hear from anyone aged 60 years and over, interested in participating in our study.”

Those interested in the study can contact Natasha Maslen on 02 6626 9585 who will book participants into one of the focus groups scheduled for Tuesday 1.30-3.30pm or Friday 9.30am-11.30am throughout October and early November. The focus groups will be conducted at the Lismore campus, Southern Cross University.

Photo: Dr Rosanne Coutts, left, and Dr Sonya Brownie.

Media contact: Steve Spinks media officer, Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus, 07 5589 3024 or 0417 288 794.