Progressive resistance plus balance training (PRBT) has been demonstrated as effective in reducing later life physical disability, falls risk and poor health, even among those with complex health care needs. However, few studies have examined the influence of PRBT on health service utilisation, cognitive wellbeing and training modality acceptance or undertaken a cost benefit analysis. This project will investigate the broad scope benefits of PRBT participation among community-dwelling older Australians receiving Government supported aged care packages for their complex health care needs. Using a modified stepped-wedge design, 248 community-dwelling adults 65 years and older with some level of government support aged care have been randomised into the study. Those randomised to exercise undertake six months of twice weekly machine-based, moderate to high intensity, supervised PRBT, followed by a six month unsupervised, unsupported follow-up. Controls spend six months undertaking usual activities, before entering the PRBT and follow-up phases. Data are collected at baseline and after each of the six month phases. Measures include level of and change in health and care needs, body composition, muscle capacity, falls, sleep, quality of life, nutritional and mental health status. In addition, acceptance and engagement is determined through telephone and focus group interviews complementing a multi-model health cost benefit evaluation. It is hypothesised this study will demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of PRBT in improving primary and secondary health outcomes for older adults with aged care needs, and will support the value of this modality of exercise as an integral evidence-based service model of care.
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics / Vol. 68, pp.97-105