The Victoria Assistive Devices and Coach (VADAC) study

Patrick McGowan, Scott Hofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intervention: A 90-day intervention employed peer coaching, with and without home-based electronic devices connected to an app, to assess effectiveness in enhancing self-reported health outcomes of older adults. Research question: Does peer coaching aid older adults to better manage their chronic health conditions, and is the coaching further enhanced by home-based electronic devices? Methods: The study employed a pre-post intervention randomized controlled trial design with three groups: control (no coach, no devices), coach only, and coach + devices. Participants were 163 adults living in British Columbia, Canada, aged 65 to 98 years, with one or more chronic health conditions and access to a computer and Wi-Fi. Responses on five questionnaires assessed health outcomes pre- and post-intervention: Self-Efficacy Scale, PHQ-9, Medical Care, Patient Activation Measure and the RAND 36-Item Health Survey 1.0 Questionnaire. Results: Compared with the control group (no coach, no devices), participants with a coach reported decreased depression, higher activation levels and energy levels, and better handling of role limitations due to physical health, social functioning, and communication with their physician. Participants with coaches and devices showed similar improvements on these measures with further decreases in depression severity as well as improved self-efficacy, better handling of role limitations due to emotional problems, higher level of emotional well-being and general health ratings, and lower pain. Conclusion: Peer coaches alone and in combination with assistive devices demonstrated several positive outcomes for older persons with chronic conditions that lasted at least 90 days. The program can enhance effectiveness of care provided by general practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCanadian Journal of Public Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Assistive devices
  • Chronic disease
  • Coaching
  • Elderly
  • Patient-reported outcome measures
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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