Barriers and facilitators of tele-exercise among the older people at risk of falls: a qualitative study embedded within a randomized controlled trial.

Oi Wan Karly Chan, Janet, Lok Chun Lee, Pok Man Peter Yuen, Yuk Fai Ben Fong, Tin Sing Vincent Law, Fowie Sze Fung Ng, Wilson C.P. Fung, Tommy Ng

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

Background:
Regular physical activity is essential for older people to maintain muscle mass and strength, reducing the risks of sarcopenia and accidental falls. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited traditional outdoor exercise opportunities. This qualitative study examines barriers and facilitators on tele-exercise experienced by older people at risk of falls.

Methods:
A qualitative study embedded within a randomized controlled trial was conducted in Hong Kong from December 2022 to April 2023. Community-living older people aged 65 years or above, who were at risk of falls, were recruited from three local community centres. Participants engaged in remote exercise training based on the Otago Exercise Programme three days per week for three months. Semi-structured individual interviews with open-ended questions were conducted post-intervention. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed based on the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF).
Results
The study included twenty-five participants with a mean age of 78.28 (ranging from 65-91). The majority were females (80%) with a primary education or below (56%). Analysis revealed several barriers such as background noise, hearing difficulties, fear of new technology and small screen size. Facilitators of tele-exercise included the absence of travel hassles, clear instructions from the instructor, easy technical operation, and the simplicity of movements. The home environment acted as both a facilitator and barrier to tele-exercise. These themes were mapped to the TDF domains.

Conclusion
This study provided insights into the tele-exercise experiences of older people at risk of falls. Despite the identified barriers, participants reported enjoying the tele-exercise training programme. Addressing specific challenges is crucial for older people participating in tele-exercise. Further research should focus on optimizing tele-exercise programmes to promote regular physical activity and enhance well-being among older people at risk of falls. Identification of barriers and facilitators using the TDF will improve older people’s adherence to tele-exercise intervention in the future.

*The study is embedded within a randomized controlled trial which can be obtained through the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry Website (https://www.chictr.org.cn/hvshowprojectEN.html?id=219002&v=1.1) under registration number: ChiCTR2200063370 (Registered on 5 September 2022). It is funded by the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) under the Health Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (05200028).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Barriers and facilitators of tele-exercise among the older people at risk of falls: a qualitative study embedded within a randomized controlled trial.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this