Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Physical Activity Intervention for Loneliness (PAIL) in community-dwelling older adults: a randomised feasibility study
Author(s): Shvedko, Anastasia V
Thompson, Janice L
Greig, Carolyn A
Whittaker, Anna C
Contact Email:
Keywords: Feasibility study
Physical activity
Older adults
Randomised controlled trial
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Shvedko AV, Thompson JL, Greig CA & Whittaker AC (2020) Physical Activity Intervention for Loneliness (PAIL) in community-dwelling older adults: a randomised feasibility study. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 6 (1), Art. No.: 73.
Abstract: Background Low quality social relationships in older adults are strongly associated with feelings of loneliness. Physical activity interventions could reduce loneliness and improve psychological well-being, among other health benefits. The aim of this study was to examine the feasibility of a Physical Activity Intervention for Loneliness (PAIL) in community-dwelling older adults at risk of loneliness. Methods The PAIL feasibility study was a 12-week randomized controlled feasibility trial (RCT) conducted in Birmingham, United Kingdom, from February 2018 to August 2018, and ran in two waves of data collection. Eligible participants were community-dwelling adults aged 60 years and older, sedentary (less than 20 min of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) a week), and at risk of loneliness. The intervention included once-weekly group walk and health education workshop up to 90 min per session in total, with a wait-listed (WL) control group. The primary feasibility outcomes were to estimate recruitment, retention rates and adherence to the intervention. Secondary outcome measures (not blinded assessment) were body mass index, blood pressure, physical activity and psychosocial variables. Process and outcome evaluations were conducted using focus groups interviews. The recruitment and retention progression criteria for the definitive large-scale RCT was set a-priori. Results Forty-eight participants were recruited over 4 months with a recruitment rate of 25% (48/195); 52% (25/48) met the inclusion criteria and 100% (25/25) were randomised into the intervention (n = 12) and WL control groups (n = 13). Participants were 25 older adults (mean (SD) 68.5(8.05) years), 14 (56%) female, and 18 (72%) white. At 12 weeks, 10/12 (83.3%) intervention and 10/13 (76.9%) control participants completed the final assessments. The average attendance rate was 58.3% for the intervention group (range 33.0%-75.0%) and 42.3% (range 23.1%–69.2%) among controls. The a priori recruitment and retention criteria for progression were not met. No serious adverse events occurred. The focus group results identified three themes which showed overall positive experiences of participation in PAIL in terms of (1) study design and intervention; (2) walking sessions; and (3) health education workshops. Conclusions The findings suggest that community-dwelling older adults at risk of loneliness found the intervention and measures acceptable and could safely participate. However, a more extensive and robust strategy would be needed to support adequate recruitment of lonely older adults and adherence into a definitive RCT.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s40814-020-00587-0
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
s40814-020-00587-0.pdfFulltext - Published Version1.05 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.