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Interventions to Treat & Prevent Frailty

We will pilot and test new interventions and technologies to treat and reverse frailty in older people.

  • Effectiveness of exercise interventions on physical function in community-dwelling frail older people: an umbrella review

    Lead Investigators: Ms Agathe Jadczak PhD Candidate, Dr Tim Schultz, Dr Natalie Luscombe-Marsh, Professor Naresh Makwana, Professor Renuka Visvanathan

    Agathe Jadczak teaches a patient excercisesSeveral systematic reviews discuss the effects of exercise interventions on important physical function parameters, such as mobility, gait speed, balance and strength. The investigations described in the reviews indicate that multi-component exercise, including strength, endurance and balance training, appears to be the best way in which to improve physical function in frail older people. However, there is still uncertainty as to which exercise characteristics (type, frequency, intensity, duration, setting, combinations) are most effective. Further evidence suggests that multi-component exercise interventions combined with other interventions, such as protein supplementation, may be more effective than exercise alone for improving physical function in older people. The number of identified systematic reviews on this topic indicates the need for an umbrella review to identify important repeated or interrelated findings that could inform future research and clinical trial development. The objectives of this umbrella review are to determine the effectiveness of exercise interventions, alone or in combination with other interventions, for improving physical function in community-dwelling older people who are identified as frail or at-risk of frailty and to examine if any particular intervention type or characteristic is more effective than others. This review is underway.

    Media Contact: Ms Agathe Jadczak

  • The EXPRESS Study EXercise and PRotein Effectiveness Supplementation Study

    Lead Investigators: Ms Agathe Jadczak PhD Candidate, Dr Natalie Luscombe-Marsh, Professor Renuka Visvanathan

    Agathe Jadczak teaches a patient excercises Frailty is a geriatric syndrome of increased vulnerability, characterised by decreased ability to resist and recover from stressors, as well as loss of muscle mass and strength. It is linked with higher risks of falls, disability, hospital stays, and mortality. Exercise has proven to be beneficial in the treatment of frailty and has a positive effect on physical function and quality of life. It is suggested that exercise in combination with an increased protein intake may be even more effective than exercise alone for improving physical function in older people.

    A pilot study is currently conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (TQEH) and the Centre for Physical Activity in Ageing (CPAA Hampstead) including community-dwelling older people aged 65 years and older who are frail or at-risk of frailty.

    The study aims to examine the feasibility of recruiting community-dwelling frail older people to a six months program including nutrition and exercise and to determine the effects of exercise in combination with protein supplements on walking speed, grip strength and physical performance. The study will also look at frailty, muscle mass, nutritional intake, physical activity, and quality of life. Ethics approval for this research was obtained from the University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee, The CALHNR Ethics Committee, and CSIRO. The trial was registered with the Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN).

    Media Contact: Ms Agathe Jadczak

  • How do frail older people prefer to receive advice on exercise? A qualitative study

    Lead Investigators: Ms Agathe Jadczak PhD Candidate, Dr Jo Dollard, Dr Neha Mahajan, Professor Renuka Visvanathan

    Researcher interviews a patientExercise has proven to be beneficial for numerous age-related diseases and is considered as the most effective strategy to prevent frailty. General practitioners (GPs) have the potential to increase older peoples’ participation in exercise by providing advice on exercise or prescribing exercise. However, little is known about older peoples’ perspectives on the advice they have received relating to exercise and what preferences they might have in this regard.

    This study aims to explore older people’s opinions in relation to being advised about exercise and their perceptions of the GP’s role in promoting exercise for older people using semi-structured interviews.

    Media Contact: Ms Agathe Jadczak

  • Multi-Service Frailty intervention trial mFIT

    Lead Investigator: Professor Ian Cameron

    Professor Ian Cameron has completed two single centre intervention trials in Sydney: the Frailty Intervention Trial (FIT) and the Frailty Prevention Trial (pre FIT). The results of this study have provided new insight into treatment options for older people who are frail or at-risk of frailty and living in our community.

    This future study will provide treatment for older people who are frail or pre-frail. It will be conducted in multiple sites including aged care health services and general practices in New South Wales and South Australia. Treatment principles developed in previous trials will be fine-tuned and older people will have the opportunity to choose from a range of options to suit their individual circumstances. It is anticipated that exercise programs, nutritional optimisation, support to function independently in the community, disease prevention and chronic disease management will be the main components of the intervention. The design will be a cluster randomised trial and it is anticipated that 1,000 to 1,500 older people will be followed for one to two years. This proposed study will capitalise on the the research strengths of our health economics and knowledge translation research experts.

    Media Contact: Professor Ian Cameron

Centre of Research Excellence in
Frailty and Healthy Ageing
Address

THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
SA 5005 AUSTRALIA

Contact

T: +61 8 8222 6140
F: +61 8 8222 7872
cre_frailty@adelaide.edu.au

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