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Exercise Referral Schemes For The Elderly Assessed

October 29, 2017

A new clinical trial commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme is assessing exercise programmes for older patients. Regular physical activity is associated with decreased mortality and has also been shown to reduce the risks of diabetes, hypertension and obesity, plus additional benefits include improved bone density, muscle mass, arterial compliance and energy. However, up to 75% of people over the age of 65 are insufficiently active to achieve health benefits.

The research team led by Professor Stephen Iliffe, of University College London, plans to recruit approximately 1200 patients from 30 practices in London and Nottingham/Derby who will be split into three groups of 400. The aim is to compare two specially designed exercise programmes with non active intervention; the first being a group class that is supplemented by additional home exercise monitored by the class instructor; the second involves home based exercise overseen by a person of a similar age group to support and encourage the patient throughout the programme. Researchers will report on the benefits of increased strength and endurance, improvement of mobility and control of balance, therefore, decreasing the potential of falling and endangering limbs.

"It is predicted that the older population in the UK of over 65 years will increase to around two million by the year 2021, so it is important to research ways to retain quality of life," says Professor Iliffe. "The aim is to encourage continued physical exercise after the programme as adherence and compliance to such programmes can only improve health and aid prolonged recovery. We hope that our research will help to improve the delivery of prescribed exercise programmes for older people."

For more information visit hta.ac/project/1708

The HTA programme is a programme of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and produces high quality research information about the effectiveness, costs, and broader impact of health technologies for those who use, manage and provide care in the NHS. It is the largest of the NIHR programmes and publishes the results of its research in the Health Technology Assessment journal, with over 400 issues published to date. The journal's 2006 Impact Factor (5.29) ranked it in the top 10% of medical and health-related journals. All issues are available for download free of charge from the website, hta.ac The HTA programme is coordinated by the National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment (NCCHTA), based at the University of Southampton.

The National Institute for Health Research provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training. Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world class facilities (both NHS and university), conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients.

The National Institute for Health Research