Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Effects of a blended home-based exercise program and protein counselling in community dwelling older adults: results of the VITAMIN RCT


<b>Purpose:</b> With the ageing population, there is an increasing demand for strategies to optimise muscle mass, strength and physical performance in community dwelling older adults. We designed a new innovative e-health intervention "VITAMIN" to improve physical performance in older adults. The blended home-based exercise intervention contains digital support to improve personalised coaching as well as dietary protein counselling. This study evaluates the 6 months effectiveness of the intervention. <b>Methods:</b> The cluster RCT included 245 community dwelling older adults (age = 55y) randomised to control, exercise, and exercise+dietary protein counselling group. Data was collected at baseline and after 6 months of intervention. The primary outcome was the modified Physical Performance test (mPPT) with an emphasis on daily functioning. Secondary measures were gait speed (GS; m/s), physical activity level (PAL), protein intake (g/kg/d), appendicular skeletal muscle mass by DXA (ASMM; kg), hand grip strength (HGS; kg). For statistical analysis SPSSv24.0 was used. A mixed models analysis was performed, with group, time and group*time interaction as fixed factors, subject and cluster as random factors, and additional posthoc Bonferroni test. <b>Results:</b> Mean age of the 224 evaluated participants was 72.0±smn;6.5y, 71% were females and 44% low educated. No significant intervention effect was found for mPPT (p=.889). Secondary outcomes showed a significant intervention effect: GS (p=.002), PAL (p=.014), protein intake (p<.001), ASSM (p=.029),HGS (p<.001). Posthoc Bonferroni showed that exercise+protein group had statistical improved outcome compared to control for these secondary outcomes (p<.001; p=.003; p<.001; p=.009; p<.001). Control group showed declined values at 6 months compared to baseline for GS (D-.23 m/s), PAL (D -.03), ASSM (D -.32 kg) and HGS (D -.96 kg).<b>Conclusions:</b> Older adults had already very high scores for physical performance (mPPT), however the blended home-based exercise intervention with protein counselling was still effective for gait speed, physical activity level, dietary protein intake, muscle mass and strength. This personalised innovative e-health intervention showed to be a promising strategy for community dwelling older adults for maintenance instead of declining physical function.

Reference Helder, J., Mehra, S., van Dronkelaar, C., Tieland, M., Visser, B., Kröse, BJ., Engelbert, RH., & Weijs, PJ. (2019). Effects of a blended home-based exercise program and protein counselling in community dwelling older adults: results of the VITAMIN RCT. Abstract from International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) , Prague, Czech Republic.
Published by  Urban Vitality 5 June 2019

Publication date

Jun 2019


S Mehra
C van Dronkelaar
M Tieland
BJ Kröse

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