AEQUALIS: for improvement in health for elderly people in disadvantages areas through self-care, health literacy and social capital

Socio-economic and educational determinants have a great impact on the results of health, and this translates as poor health among those people in more disadvantaged situation. Self-care, health literacy and social capital are some of the interventions that can be promoted by local health agents. These three conditioning factors are closely inter-related and also have separate impacts on perceived health.

The AEQUALIS study aims to reduce health inequalities through an intervention that promotes self-care, health literacy and social capital in elderly people living in socio-economically disadvantaged areas. This is a pragmatic, randomised, controlled and open clinical trial which is carried out in local health centres through a weekly group intervention in 12 sessions over 3 months.

The results of the study, which began in March 2105, should translate as an improvement in perceived health, an increase in social support and participation and an incorporation of healthy habits in the daily life of elderly people. It is also hoped that the study will contribute to a greater awareness among the public of the problems of inequality in health and the mechanisms that can help to mitigate them. Another innovative aspect of the study is  that it will help to understand the effects that the economic crisis has on health pathways and social participation of elderly people in the neighbourhoods involved, and the consequences that this can have on the reaction and reduction of inequalities.