Aged Care Healthcare Learning - Topics

GrACE and GAIT exercise programme in the residential aged care setting


The feasibility and benefits of a 24-week targeted progressive supervised resistance and weight-bearing exercise programme (Group Aged Care Exercise + GAIT (GrACE and GAIT)) in the residential aged care (RAC) setting was investigated as very little peer-reviewed research has been conducted in relation to exercise programmes of this duration in this cohort. 



A quasi-experimental study design consisting of two groups (control and exercise) explored a 24-week targeted progressive supervised resistance and weight-bearing exercise programme (GrACE + GAIT) in two RAC facilities in Northern New South Wales, Australia. A total of 42 adults consented to participate from a total of 68 eligible residents (61.7%). The primary outcome measures were feasibility and sustainability of the exercise programme via intervention uptake, session adherence, attrition, acceptability and adverse events. Secondary measures included gait speed and the spatio-temporal parameters of gait, handgrip muscle strength and sit to stand performance. 


Results – GrACE and GAIT 

Twenty-three residents participated in the exercise intervention (mean (SD) 85.4 (8.1) years, 15 females) and 19 in the control group (87.4 (6.6) years 13 females). Exercise adherence was 79.3%, with 65% of exercise participants attending ≥70% of the sessions; 100% of those originally enrolled completed the programme and strongly agreed with the programme acceptability. Zero exercise-related adverse events were reported. ANCOVA results indicated that post-intervention gait speed significantly increased (p < 0.001) with an 18.8% increase in gait speed (m/s). 



The GrACE + GAIT programme was shown to be feasible and significantly improve adults living in RAC facilities gait speed, handgrip strength and sit to stand performance. These results suggest that the GrACE + GAIT programme is suitable for use in the RAC sector and that it has the potential to reduce disability and improve function and quality of life of the residents. 


Fien S, Henwood T, Climstein M, Rathbone E, Keogh JWL. 2019. Exploring the feasibility, sustainability and the benefits of the GrACE + GAIT exercise programme in the residential aged care setting. PeerJ 7:e6973 

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A driven Early Career Researcher at CQUniversity who lectures in Exercise and Sport Sciences, Dr Samantha Fien is passionate about her research in ageing and exercise as you are never too old to start. She knows that research must be translated to the greater community and is also a LASA NextGen Ambassador for aged care services.


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