Predictors of exercise uptake and adherence in older people with recent hospital stays.

Summary

This project will investigate predictors for exercise uptake and adherence in older people who have recently been in hospital. An observational study will be conducted among subjects who are participating in a large NHMRC-funded trial of exercise interventions for the prevention of falls in people recently discharged from two Sydney teaching hospitals.

Supervisor(s)

Associate Professor Cathie Sherrington

Research Location

City - The George Institute for Global Health

Program Type

PHD

Synopsis

The development and implementation of strategies to prevent disability and falls among older people is an urgent public health challenge. Current best evidence indicates that exercise could play a crucial role in the widespread prevention of falls and disability. However for society and individuals to reap the benefits of this powerful intervention, large numbers of older people need to keep commence and maintain well-designed regular exercise programs. Unfortunately, little is known about predictors of exercise adoption and adherence in older adults, particularly those already experiencing disability and/or falls. Useful work has recently been conducted in Europe (Stiggelbout, Health Educ. Res. 21:1-14, 2006) but it is likely that these factors are context and culture dependent i.e. are likely to be different in Australia than in Europe. The project would be conducted as part of an NHMRC-funded trial in which 350 older people who have recently been in hospital are randomised to either receive a 1-year home exercise program established in 10 visits from a physiotherapist or to a usual care control group. Falls are monitored for 12 months and assessments of physical functioning and disability are conducted 3 and 12 months after randomisation. The proposed project would involve participant interviews to collect information on factors likely to predict uptake and adherence to the home-based exercise program. Interviews will be conducted with study participants to establish their attitudes to exercise, and the presence of possible barriers and enablers to exercise. Participants will complete monthly calendars recording how much exercise they completed. Statistical models will be developed to determine the predictors or combinations of predictors best able to explain uptake of and adherence to the prescribed exercise program.

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Keywords

Falls, older people, exercise, adherence, uptake

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 728

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