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Health-Promoting Interventions for Persons 80 Years and Over are Successful in the Short Term – Results from the Randomized and Three-Armed Study Elderly Persons in the Risk Zone

Journal article
Authors Susanne Gustafsson
Katarina Wilhelmson
Kajsa Eklund
Gunilla Gosman-Hedström
Lena Zidén
Greta Häggblom Kronlöf
Bettina Højgaard
Frode Slinde
Elisabeth Rothenberg
Sten Landahl
Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff
Published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 60
Issue 3
Pages 447-454
ISSN 0002-8614
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Audiology, Logopedics, Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Medicine
Centre for Ageing and Health (Agecap)
Pages 447-454
Language en
Keywords Aged, frail elderly, intervention studies, ADL, intention to treat analysis
Subject categories Older people and ageing


OBJECTIVES: The study Elderly Persons in the Risk Zone was designed to evaluate if it is possible to delay deterioration if a health-promoting intervention is made when the older adults (80+) are at risk of becoming frail, and if a multi-professional group intervention is more effective in delaying deterioration than a single preventive home visit. This paper examined the outcome with regard to frailty, self-rated health, and Activities of Daily Living (ADL) at the three-month follow-up. DESIGN: A randomized, three-armed, single-blind, and controlled trial performed between November 2007 and May 2011. SETTING: Two municipalities of Gothenburg, Sweden. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 459 older adults were included. They were 80 years or older, living in their ordinary housing, and not dependent on the municipal home help service. INTERVENTION: A preventive home visit or four weekly multi-professional senior group meetings with one follow-up home visit. MEASUREMENTS: The change in frailty, self-rated health, and ADL between baseline and the three-month follow-up. RESULTS: Both interventions delayed deterioration of self-rated health (OR=1.99, 95% CI=1.12 to 3.54). As regards postponing dependence in ADL, senior meetings were found to be the most beneficial intervention (OR=1.95, 95% CI=1.14 to 3.33). No effect on frailty could be demonstrated. CONCLUSION: Health-promoting interventions, made when older adults are at risk of becoming frail, can delay deterioration of self-rated health and ADL in the short term. Also, a multi-professional group intervention such as the senior meetings described seems to have a greater impact on delaying deterioration in ADL than a single preventive home visit. Further research is needed to examine the outcome in the long term, and in different contexts.

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