Institute member Associate Professor Ruth Peters has received $3.7 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies award to deliver the 4-year INTEGRITY clinical trial. 

Intergenerational relationships can have potential health and wellbeing benefits for both younger and older people. In popular media, this has been shown on TV shows like ABC’s award-winning “Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds” which brings older adults and preschool children together. However further empirical scientific evidence is required to truly understand the significance of these benefits.  

Associate Professor Ruth Peters, who is a Senior Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia, will explore such benefits as lead investigator in the 4-year INTEGRITY trial. The trial builds on Associate Professor Peters’ 2020 AFI seed grant titled “The INTERGENERATION INTEGRATION project” which provided a novel, evidence-based, user-friendly toolkit to support the development of community-based intergenerational integration programs tailored to local Australian communities.

“INTEGRITY is a multi-site trial that will test whether bringing older adults and preschool children together in structured intergenerational activity will bring benefit to child language and emotional development and to older adults in reducing, stabilising, or slowing the progression of frailty.” Says Associate Professor Peters.

Other Institute Members involved in the trial include Professor Kim Delbaere, Dr Stephanie Ward, Ebony Lewis, Dr Gail Kenning, Dr Ying Xu, and PhD student Nicole Ee. These investigators bring multidisciplinary expertise in frailty, ageing, intergenerational practice, neurology, geriatric medicine, psychology and physiotherapy.

“If the results of the trial show that intergenerational practice has benefit the next step will be to develop evidence-based materials that communities can download and use to build their own local programs.”