Promoting Activity in Geriatric Rehabilitation: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Accelerometry
Peel, Nancye M
Paul, Sanjoy K
Cameron, Ian D
Gray, Leonard C
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Background Low activity levels in inpatient rehabilitation are associated with adverse outcomes. The study aimed to test whether activity levels can be increased by the provision of monitored activity data to patients and clinicians in the context of explicit goal setting. Methods A randomized controlled trial in three sites in Australia included 255 inpatients aged 60 and older who had a rehabilitation goal to become ambulant. The primary outcome was patients’ walking time measured by accelerometers during the rehabilitation admission. Walking times from accelerometry were made available daily to treating therapists and intervention participants to motivate patients to improve incidental activity levels and reach set goals. For the control group, ‘usual care’ was followed, including the setting of mobility goals; however, for this group, neither staff nor patients received data on walking times to aid the setting of daily walking time targets. Results The median daily walking time in the intervention group increased from 10.3 minutes at baseline to 32.1 minutes at day 28, compared with an increase from 9.5 to 26.5 minutes per day in the control group. Subjects in the intervention group had significantly higher non-therapy walking time by about 7 minutes [mean (95% CI): 24.6 (21.7, 27.4)] compared to those in the control group [mean(95% CI): 17.3 (14.4, 20.3)] (p = 0.001). Conclusions Daily feedback to patients and therapists using an accelerometer increased walking times during rehabilitation admissions. The results of this study suggest objective monitoring of activity levels could provide clinicians with information on clinically important, mobility-related activities to assist goal setting.
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