EVALUATION OF A COMMUNITY BASED EDUCATION PROGRAM: THE TAC MOBILITY CHOICES FOR OLDER ROAD USERS INITIATIVE
Independent personal mobility and/or vehicle transportation is important to support the goal of healthy ageing and maintenance of community engagement. Educational programs to promote maximum mobility and safety for older people should be a policy priority (OECD, 2001). This paper describes the development and evaluation of an evidence-based health promotion program targeting older road users.
Program goals were related to provision of road safety messages, information about how health and ageing influence transportation independence, mobility options and resources. Relevant stakeholders were involved in a participatory model of program development. The program was presented in an interactive format and included pedestrian, public transport, motorised scooters, and cycling transport modes as well as vehicle driving.
Program evaluation incorporated a host group co-ordinator survey. Respondents indicated ratings on a Likert scale and provided comments in relation to community mobility and road safety priority messages: data were analysed using both quantative and qualitative methods.
Respondents were very satisfied with program content and delivery: they found the presentation practical and relevant to participant needs and were willing to recommend the program to other groups. Analysis of open-ended questions revealed that the most important take home road safety messages were related to availability and options for: driver assessments, vehicle modifications, driver rehabilitation and alternative transportation.
The health promotion framework offers a mode of delivering road safety messages that may be less threatening to older people compared to traditional methods, facilitating higher rates of information retention and application. Further research is required to investigate this potential relationship and its’ application within this context.