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Visually Impaired OLder people's Exercise programme for falls prevenTion (VIOLET): a feasibility study protocol

Lookup NU author(s): Denise Howel, Vincent Deary, Dr Rosy Lampitt, Dr Jennifer Wilkinson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Introduction: In the UK, 1 in 5 people aged 75 and over live with sight loss. Visually impaired older people (VIOP) have an above average incidence of falls and 1.3-1.9 times more likely to experience hip fractures, than the general population. Older people with eye diseases are similar to 3 times more likely than those with good vision, to limit activities due to fear of falling. This feasibility study aims to adapt the group-based Falls Management Exercise (FaME) programme to the needs of VIOP and carry out an external pilot trial to inform the design of a future definitive randomised controlled trial.Methods and design: A UK based 2-centre mixed methods, randomised, feasibility study will be conducted over 28 months. Stakeholder panels, including VIOP, will make recommendations for adaptations to an existing exercise programme (FaME), to meet the needs of VIOP, promoting uptake and adherence, while retaining required effective components of the exercise programme. 80 VIOP aged 60 and over, living at home, ambulant with or without a walking aid, will be recruited in Newcastle (n=40) and Glasgow (n=40) through National Health Service (NHS) Trusts and third sector partners. Participants randomised into the intervention arm will receive the adapted FaME programme. Participants randomised into the control arm will continue with usual activity. Outcomes are, recruitment rate, adherence and validated measures including fear of falling and quality of life. Postintervention in-depth qualitative interviews will be conducted with a purposive sample of VIOP (N=10). Postural stability instructors will be interviewed, before trial-specific training and following the intervention.Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval was secured through the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) Committee North East, Newcastle and North Tyneside 2. Glasgow Caledonian University was approved as a non-NHS site with local ethics approval. Findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals, national and international conferences.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Skelton DA, Bailey C, Howel D, Cattan M, Deary V, Coe D, de Jong LD, Gawler S, Gray J, Lampitt R, Wilkinson J, Adams N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2016

Volume: 6

Issue: 8

Online publication date: 02/08/2016

Acceptance date: 05/07/2016

Date deposited: 09/11/2016

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011996


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Funder referenceFunder name
12/181/07National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Health Promotion Interventions for People with Impairments Programme