Improving individuals’ health by strengthening community connectedness
September 2017 – August 2019
Current approaches to rehabilitation for people who have multiple long term conditions (LTCs) including COPD, heart failure, arthritis and diabetes, do not include all aspects of well-being important for improving health. As a result, referral rates and attendance is low at the many rehabilitation programmes offered. The low referral and attendance rates, and the limitations imposed by disease-specific programmes for people with multiple LTCs, point to the need for a complete change in the way that supporting and improving health is undertaken. Rather than developing a new health focussed initiative, we want to work together with communities to develop and try initiatives that help people with multiple LTCs to access community support, increase their sense of connectedness within their community, improve physical activity, and thus live lives they feel are fulfilling and worthwhile.
To determine the best ways to achieve this, we plan to involve a wide range of people within the community, including those with multiple LTCs, to develop meaningful ways to improve community and social connectedness. There will be a focus on new technologies, or new ways of using technology, and how to best include health related messages and interventions within what’s already happening within communities. The aim will be to develop capabilities of communities to support people with LTCs. We hope that all members of a community will benefit, with particular emphasis on those with multiple LTCs, with increased physical activity, improved literacy (including health literacy), and new strategies to better manage their own health and well-being.
This research project is funded by the Ministry of Health, Health Research Council of New Zealand, and Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, as part of the Long Term Conditions Partnership.
A social connection map for Christchurch is now available at www.wellconnectednz.org.
- Website www.wellconnectednz.org
- Twitter @WellConnectedNZ
- Facebook www.facebook.com/wellconnectednz
- YouTube www.youtube.com
Read more about this project in Social connection: a key to health and wellbeing.
WellConnectedNZ Te Ranga i te Tira – Improving individuals’ health by strengthening community connectedness – a proof of concept initiative
Science Leader and principal investigator:
- Dr Malcolm Campbell, University of Canterbury
- Associate Professor Hilda Mulligan, University of Otago – Christchurch
- Dr Melissa Kerdemelidis, Canterbury District Health Board
- Professor Simon Kingham, University of Canterbury
- Brendon McIntosh, Canterbury Clinical Network
- Dr Caralyn Purvis, Canterbury District Health Board
- Dr Malina Storer, Canterbury District Health Board
- Dr Mandy Wilkinson, University of Otago – Christchurch
- Ms Janel Atlas, University of Otago – Christchurch
- Ms Katrina Nelson, University of Otago – Christchurch
- Dr Clēmence Vannier, University of Canterbury
- Ms Georgia Wilkinson, University of Otago – Christchurch
- Components of community rehabilitation programmes for adults with chronic conditions: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies (2019)
- Maintenance and Development of Social Connection by People with Long-term Conditions: A Qualitative Study International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2019)
- Client perceptions of engaging with a health and social care navigation service: A qualitative study. Chronic Illness (2020)
- Pathways to urban health and well-being: measuring and modelling of community services’ in a medium size city. Geospatial Health (2020)
Conferences and symposia
- Social connection: a key to health and wellbeing July 2019
- Finding our way to Pou Ārahi YouTube, May 2019
- An overview of the WellConnectedNZ project YouTube, April 2019
- Patients need community connections not just health care HealthCentralNZ, December 2018
- New research projects for long-term health conditions August 2017
- New partnership to improve health of New Zealanders June 2016