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Open Access Study protocol

The Home-Based Older People's Exercise (HOPE) trial: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Andrew Clegg1*, Sally Barber1, John Young1, Anne Forster1 and Steve Iliffe2

Author Affiliations

1 Academic Unit of Elderly Care & Rehabilitation, University of Leeds, Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Duckworth Lane, Bradford BD9 6RJ, UK

2 Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London, Rowland Hill St, London, NW3 2PF, UK

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Trials 2011, 12:143  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-12-143

Published: 8 June 2011

Abstract

Background

Frailty is common in older age, and is associated with important adverse health outcomes including increased risk of disability and admission to hospital or long-term care. Exercise interventions for frail older people have the potential to reduce the risk of these adverse outcomes by increasing muscle strength and improving mobility.

Methods/Design

The Home-Based Older People's Exercise (HOPE) trial is a two arm, assessor blind pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) to assess the effectiveness of a 12 week exercise intervention (the HOPE programme) designed to improve the mobility and functional abilities of frail older people living at home, compared with usual care. The primary outcome is the timed-up-and-go test (TUGT), measured at baseline and 14 weeks post-randomisation. Secondary outcomes include the Barthel Index of activities of daily living (ADL), EuroQol Group 5-Dimension Self-Report Questionnaire (EQ-5D) quality of life measure and the geriatric depression scale (GDS), measured at baseline and 14 weeks post-randomisation. We will record baseline frailty using the Edmonton Frail Scale (EFS), record falls and document muscle/joint pain. We will test the feasibility of collection of data to identify therapy resources required for delivery of the intervention.

Discussion

The HOPE trial will explore and evaluate a home-based exercise intervention for frail older people. Although previous RCTs have used operationalised, non-validated methods of measuring frailty, the HOPE trial is, to our knowledge, the first RCT of an exercise intervention for frail older people that includes a validated method of frailty assessment at baseline.

Trial registration

ISRCTN: ISRCTN57066881