Ashlene Wright

Keywords: older adults; physical activity; peer-led interventions

I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Public Health. Following this I graduated from an MSc in Physical Activity and Public Health at Loughborough University, England. I commenced a PhD at the Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, under the supervision of Professor Frank Kee, Dr Mark Tully and Dr Anne Kouvonen.   I am in final year of my PhD which concentrates on the development of a peer led walking intervention for inactive older adults living in independent living communities in Northern Ireland.   I have an interest in sports medicine, specifically the promotion of physical activity to prevent and treat disease, and love sports management also.

Current PhD Research Projects:

PhD Year One:

A literature review and a systematic review on the effectiveness of peer-led interventions were completed.

PhD Year Two:

A rapid review was conducted on Behaviour change techniques (BCTs), as a part of phase one intervention development of the ‘Walk with Me Study’.   I went on a three month secondment with the Public Health Agency in Lisburn.  PHA research projects included a needs assessment on Walk for Health walk leaders (thematic analysis).  The second project included evaluating the robustness of the Walk for Health programme against the National Obesity Observatory (NOO) evaluation framework for physical activity.  The PHA intends to standardise and make routine the findings of this project, thus incorporating process evaluation throughout its future PA programmes.  

PhD Year Three:

Through the partnership with the PHA, this helped me to implement my feasibility study throughout the greater Lisburn area.   The study is a 12 week peer-led walking intervention with inactive older adults living in independent living residencies. 

Current research of interest to in the community

This research is directed to third sector organisations working with older people (including AgeNI, Good Morning NI Network). This will be achieved by producing executive summaries for these target groups; and delivering presentations in non-academic seminars and workshops.