The role of radio in promoting well-being in older adults: Dr Amanda Krause

Grant program: Hal Kendig Research Development Program
Awardee: Dr Amanda Krause
Title of project: Radio relationships and well-being in older age
Year Awarded: 2019
Year of completion: 2022


Dr Amanda Krause is passionate about the influence of everyday experiences with music and radio on listeners’ well-being.

In this project, Amanda sought to address an urgent need for accessible, non-invasive, cost-effective solutions to assist older Australians in managing their personal well-being.

As a music psychology researcher at James Cook University, Amanda used a participatory, mixed-methods approach to examine the role of radio relationships – including those developed between presenters and listeners, and among presenters – in improving older Australians’ psychosocial well-being.

‘Radio offers information, entertainment, connection and companionship. It’s also cheap and easy,’ says Amanda.

‘When people listen to a particular station or program on a regular basis, they form relationships with the presenters and content. This can improve the listener’s mood, bring back memories, and help them feel calm and relaxed’.

Through this project, Amanda found that:

  • Good communication and interpersonal skills of radio presenters facilitated connection, engagement and relationships with their perceived listening audience.
  • Radio presenters’ perceptions of their listeners’ interests and needs influenced their on-air behaviours, as they sought to communicate in ways that promote listener engagement and well-being.
  • Radio promotes mental health through broadcasts and programming, and acts as a surrogate friend in listeners’ homes.
  • Listeners’ perceived relationships with radio programs and individual presenters, built and sustained over time through repeating listening, underpin radio’s ability to support listener well-being.

‘The findings from my project have implications for broadcasting practices and how radio can be leveraged as a tool to promote well-being,’ says Amanda.

The outcomes of this project have the potential to increase life satisfaction, by reducing conditions of loneliness and isolation associated with older age. The outputs are expected to contribute to evidence-based policy formulation related to positive ageing and provide a low-cost and self-managing well-being resource for older Australians.

One of the tangible outputs is an evidence-based resource, developed via a co-design process, to disseminate project findings to the public. The tri-fold pamphlet, launched for World Radio Day in 2023, aims to assist individuals, radio providers and aged care support personnel in promoting individual well-being through engaging with the radio. To read more about Amanda’s work, visit her website at