Older adults’ preferences for, adherence to and experiences of two self-management falls prevention home exercise programmes: a comparison between a digital programme and a paper booklet

Linda Mansson*, Lillemor Lundin-Olsson, Dawn A. Skelton, Rebecka Janols, Helena Lindgren, Erik Rosendahl, Marlene Sandlund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Fall prevention exercise programmes are known to be effective, but access to these programmes is not always possible. The use of eHealth solutions might be a way forward to increase access and reach a wider population. In this feasibility study the aim was to explore the choice of programme, adherence, and self-reported experiences comparing two exercise programmes - a digital programme and a paper booklet. METHODS: A participant preference trial of two self-managed fall prevention exercise interventions. Community-dwelling adults aged 70 years and older exercised independently for four months after one introduction meeting. Baseline information was collected at study start, including a short introduction of the exercise programme, a short physical assessment, and completion of questionnaires. During the four months intervention period, participants self-reported their performed exercises in an exercise diary. At a final meeting, questionnaires about their experiences, and post-assessments, were completed. For adherence analyses data from diaries were used and four subgroups for different levels of participation were compared. Exercise maintenance was followed up with a survey 12 months after study start. RESULTS: Sixty-seven participants, with mean age 77 ± 4 years were included, 72% were women. Forty-three percent chose the digital programme. Attrition rate was 17% in the digital programme group and 37% in the paper booklet group (p = .078). In both groups 50-59% reported exercise at least 75% of the intervention period. The only significant difference for adherence was in the subgroup that completed ≥75% of exercise duration, the digital programme users exercised more minutes per week (p = .001). Participants in both groups were content with their programme but digital programme users reported a significantly higher (p = .026) degree of being content, and feeling supported by the programme (p = .044). At 12 months follow-up 67% of participants using the digital programme continued to exercise regularly compared with 35% for the paper booklet (p = .036). CONCLUSIONS: Exercise interventions based on either a digital programme or a paper booklet can be used as a self-managed, independent fall prevention programme. There is a similar adherence in both programmes during a 4-month intervention, but the digital programme seems to facilitate long-term maintenance in regular exercise. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinTrial: NCT02916849.
Original languageEnglish
Article number209
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • accidental falls
  • aged
  • aged, 80 and over
  • digital health
  • eHealth
  • exercise
  • falls prevention
  • Independent living
  • mHealth
  • self-management

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