Factors Impacting the Implementation of Evidence-based Wellness Programs in Illinois Senior Centers

Julie Bobitt

Because our older adult population is growing at such a rapid pace it is important to focus on initiatives and policies that will promote successful aging and prevent premature chronic disease and disability. Increasingly, there has been a focus on the utilization of evidence-based wellness programs to address the need for preventive efforts in older adults. The benefits of evidence based programming include a higher likelihood of successful programs that are based on research and proven to be effective, and more efficient use of funding resources (Brownson, Fielding, & Maylahn, 2009).

While the benefits of evidence-based programs are well established, more research is needed to determine whether the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programming is, in fact, occurring and the extent to which the intended populations are being reached. Although there is a vast network established to serve the needs of older adults in the United States, and many evidence-based wellness programs have been researched and promoted at the national level, it is difficult to tell what factors influence adoption of these programs by organizations at the community level. This study is looking at the factors that impact the dissemination and implementation of evidence based wellness programs to older adults in Illinois Senior Centers.