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Project Summary


Living in cold, damp housing is linked to health problems, high levels of avoidable winter deaths and low quality of life in older people. It is therefore important to promote keeping warm at home to reduce the burden on individuals and the health service.

The Yorkshire and Humber region has the second highest level of fuel poverty in the UK. Fuel poverty is defined as a household which needs to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel.

Social marketing is an approach to develop interventions that promote healthy behaviour. It often involves trying to increase the public awareness and knowledge about something. It also involves changing how services are delivered so that people find it easier to access them. In order to develop information and services that work it is important that people are consulted and their views recognised.

Social marketing is often used to develop ways of overcoming barriers people experience to things such as healthy eating and physical activity. In this study we want to try to use social marketing methods to help older people keep warm, and overcome barriers to accessing things that could help, for example, Warm Front, housing or benefits.


This research study aims to examine the knowledge, beliefs and values of older people regarding keeping warm at home, and identify the barriers they experience that prevent them accessing help in keeping warm. It will then use this information to develop social marketing ‘keeping warm’ interventions, including brief intervention training materials for health and social care staff, assessment referral tools and social marketing public campaign insight.


KWILLT is a qualitative interview based study. In-depth semi-structured individual, group interviews, social marketing and framework analysis techniques will be used. The study has three stages. The finding from each stage will be integrated to add to the rigour of the findings. The three stages are as follows:

  1. Individual interviews and room temperature measurement with 50 older people living in Rotherham and interviews with 25 Rotherham based health and social care professionals to explore the lay epidemiology of older people regarding keeping warm at home.
  2. 6 focus groups with older people and professionals to verify, challenge and expand upon findings from the individual interviews.
  3. A structured social marketing consultation of up to 50 key stakeholders to examine the findings and shape the study outputs. It is anticipated that the ‘keeping warm’ interventions developed from the findings will include education materials, an assessment/referral tool and social marketing insight.




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