GOAL (Good Ageing in Lahti region; Ikihyvä),
Finnish research project on ageing and well-being
In Päijät-Häme hospital district, regional demands to improve health and well-being of the aging population as well as a need to find innovations for more efficient health care led to the initiation of a research and development project, Ikihyvä Päijät-Häme. This collaborative framework consists of a unique network including:
- University of Helsinki (Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education and Dept. of Social Policy)
- The National Institute for Health and Welfare
- UKK Institute for Health Promotion
- Lahti Polytechnic (Faculty of Social and Health Care)
- Päijät-Häme hospital district and its 15 municipalities (Artjärvi, Asikkala, Hartola, Heinola, Hollola, Hämeenkoski, Iitti, Kärkölä, Lahti, Myrskylä, Nastola, Orimattila, Padasjoki, Pukkila and Sysmä).
The core of Ikihyvä is a 10-year cohort follow-up study utilised for:
- Community diagnoses to be used as tools in municipal health policy-making.
- Needs' assessment to guide community-based health promotion interventions.
- Evaluation of the interventions.
In the cohort study, assessments are made in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012. Three age cohorts (N=2815) represent those individuals born in 1926-30, 1936-40 and 1946-50 living in Päijät-Häme. The baseline assessment included two extensive questionnaires (covering socio-economic background, health status, functional ability, use of health services, quality of life, lifestyle, and health-related cognitions), and clinical measures (weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure) and laboratory tests (lipids, glucose, insulin).
An overarching goal in Ikihyvä is to empower municipal policy-makers, personnel in health care sector as well as the local population in health promotion. Ikihyvä provides a unique framework for combining research and practical efforts to develop and test tools and to create inter- and intra-sector linkages for promotion of health, functional ability, and quality of life in the aging population.
The first welfare report was published in March 2003. The first intervention, a theory- and evidence-based life-style change programme to prevent type 2 diabetes was started in the primary health care centres in all the 14 municipalities in beginning of the year 2003.
For detailed information about Ikihyvä Päijät-Häme please contact Head of Development Raisa Valve, e-mail email@example.com and Planning Officer Pasi Töyli, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brief overview of the project (.pdf)
GOAL Lifestyle Implementation Trial (.pdf)