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JFSF Vol 6, No 1, March 2021, p.14-24

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-06-014


Original Article

Progressive resistance training in a post-acute, older, inpatient setting: A randomised controlled feasibility study

Sinéad A. Coleman1, Conal J. Cunningham2, Niamh Murphy1, Jean Feaheny1, David Robinson2, Rosaleen Lannon2, Kevin McCarroll2, Miriam Casey2, Joseph Harbison2, N. Frances Horgan3

  1. Physiotherapy Department, St James’s Hospital, Ireland
  2. MedEl Directorate, St James’s Hospital, Ireland
  3. School of Physiotherapy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland

Keywords: Older inpatients, Progressive resistance training


Objectives: Progressive resistance training can successfully target functional decline in healthy older community-dwelling adults. There are concerns about the safety and acceptance of its use in frail older populations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using progressive resistance training in an older, post-acute, inpatient setting. Methods: A randomised controlled feasibility study was conducted. Appropriate older inpatients undergoing post-acute rehabilitation were recruited. Feasibility measures examined were safety, recruitment, outcome measurement, adherence and retention rates and satisfaction. A range of clinical measures were used to capture changes in body structure and function, activity and participation. Assessments were performed on admission to the study and six weeks later. Results: A sample of 33 patients were included and randomised to the treatment group (n=16) or the control group (n=17). There were no serious adverse events, adherence rates were 63% and retention rates were 82%. While both groups improved between time 1 and 2, there were no significant differences in clinical measures between the groups. Conclusion: Progressive resistance training is a safe and acceptable intervention for use with this population. Further work on the effectiveness of progressive resistance training in this setting is now required.