Unsupervised progressive elastic band exercises for frail geriatric inpatients objectively monitored by new exercise-integrated technology—a feasibility trial with an embedded qualitative study

Posted on 2017-11-13 - 05:00
Abstract Background Frailty is a serious condition frequently present in geriatric inpatients that potentially causes serious adverse events. Strength training is acknowledged as a means of preventing or delaying frailty and loss of function in these patients. However, limited hospital resources challenge the amount of supervised training, and unsupervised training could possibly supplement supervised training thereby increasing the total exercise dose during admission. A new valid and reliable technology, the BandCizer, objectively measures the exact training dosage performed. The purpose was to investigate feasibility and acceptability of an unsupervised progressive strength training intervention monitored by BandCizer for frail geriatric inpatients. Methods This feasibility trial included 15 frail inpatients at a geriatric ward. At hospitalization, the patients were prescribed two elastic band exercises to be performed unsupervised once daily. A BandCizer Datalogger enabling measurement of the number of sets, repetitions, and time-under-tension was attached to the elastic band. The patients were instructed in performing strength training: 3 sets of 10 repetitions (10–12 repetition maximum (RM)) with a separation of 2-min pauses and a time-under-tension of 8 s. The feasibility criterion for the unsupervised progressive exercises was that 33% of the recommended number of sets would be performed by at least 30% of patients. In addition, patients and staff were interviewed about their experiences with the intervention. Results Four (27%) out of 15 patients completed 33% of the recommended number of sets. For the total sample, the average percent of performed sets was 23% and for those who actually trained (n = 12) 26%. Patients and staff expressed a general positive attitude towards the unsupervised training as an addition to the supervised training sessions. However, barriers were also described—especially constant interruptions. Conclusions Based on the predefined criterion for feasibility, the unsupervised training was not feasible, although the criterion was almost met. The patients and staff mainly expressed positive attitudes towards the unsupervised training. As even a small training dosage has been shown to improve the physical performance of geriatric inpatients, the proposed intervention might be relevant if the interruptions are decreased in future large-scale trials and if the adherence is increased. Trial registration NCT02702557 , February 29, 2016. Data Protection Agency: 2016-42, February 25, 2016. Ethics Committee: No registration needed, December 8, 2015 (e-mail correspondence).


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