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Title: Physical activity among hospitalised older people : the feasibility and acceptability of a volunteer-led mobility intervention
Author: Lim, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 8509 8456
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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Physical inactivity among older inpatients is associated with worsening physical function and increasing dependence in activities of daily living. Studies have shown that interventions using paid staff to improve physical activity levels may reduce the risk of some of these harmful effects. However, few studies have explored the use of volunteers in this role. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of using trained volunteers to encourage older inpatients to be physically active. Physical activity levels of inpatients aged ≥ 70 years on three study wards receiving usual care were measured using two accelerometers. An evidence-based training programme for volunteers was developed with therapy colleagues. The volunteer-led activity sessions were implemented on the study wards with repeat measurement of physical activity. Finally, the acceptability of the intervention was assessed through interviews and focus groups among patients, volunteers, nurses and therapists. 42 participants (mean age 87.5 years, SD 4.6) receiving usual care had their physical activity measured. The median daily step count was 636 steps (IQR 298 – 1468), and the mean daily acceleration was 9.1milligravity (mg) (SD 3.3). 17 volunteers were recruited and volunteer retention at the end of the study period was 70% (12 volunteers). 310 activity sessions were offered to 50 participants and 230 sessions (74%) were completed. No adverse event was reported. 25 participants including patients, volunteers, nurses and therapists were interviewed. Findings from the interviews demonstrated that the intervention was well-received among patients, nurses and therapists. Volunteers can be trained and retained to safely encourage older inpatients to be more active. Further research is required on the impact of the volunteer-led intervention on patient outcomes.
Supervisor: Roberts, Helen ; Aihie Sayer, Avan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available