Summary

This randomised controlled trial aims to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a home-based lower limb exercise program compared with a home-based upper limb exercise program to prevent falls and upper limb dysfunction among community-dwelling people aged 65+ years.

Participants will be randomised to either a home-based lower limb exercise intervention or a home-based upper limb exercise intervention. The lower limb program is designed to improve balance and strength in the lower limbs. The upper limb program is designed to improve upper limb strength and mobility. Participants will attend three group-based instruction sessions led by a physiotherapist to learn and progress the exercises. They will be instructed to perform the exercises three times per week at home for 12 months.

Translation: The study will also determine the feasibility and appropriateness of scaling-up the BEST at Home Program population-wide in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. It is envisaged that discussions with NSW Ministry of Health on issues around scaling-up BEST at Home Program state-wide will occur.

At May 2018 over 600 people will have completed the BEST at Home Program. Preliminary results from the randomized controlled trial should be available in December 2018. In 2019, the cost-effectiveness component and the translational component of the study will be completed.

Publication: Bates A, Furber S, Tiedemann A, Ginn K, van den Dolder P, Howard K, Bauman A, Chittenden C, Franco L, Kershaw M, Sherrington C. Home-based exercise programs to prevent falls and upper limb dysfunction among community-dwelling older people: study protocol for the BEST (Balance Exercise Strength Training) at Home randomised controlled trial. Journal of Physiotherapy 20 18, in press.

Funding body

National Health and Medical Research Council

Scheme name

Partnership Project

Years funded

2014 – 2019

Lead institutions

Health Promotion Service, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, and the University of Sydney


Research area

Health services