Perceived acceptability and preferences for low-intensity early activity interventions of older hospitalized medical patients exposed to bed rest: a cross sectional study
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BACKGROUND: Hospitalized older patients spend most of their time in bed, putting them at risk of experiencing orthostatic intolerance. Returning persons to their usual upright activity level is the most effective way to prevent orthostatic intolerance but some older patients have limited activity tolerance, supporting the need for low-intensity activity interventions. Consistent with current emphasis on patient engagement in intervention design and evaluation, this study explored older hospitalized patients' perceived acceptability of, and preference for, two low-intensity early activity interventions (bed-to-sitting and sitting-to-walking), and characteristics (gender, illness severity, comorbidity, illnesses and medications with orthostatic effects, and baseline functional capacity) associated with perceived acceptability and preference. METHODS: A convenience sample was recruited from in-patient medical units of two hospitals in Ontario, Canada and included 60 cognitively intact adults aged 65+ who were admitted for a medical condition within the past 72 h, spent ≥ 24 consecutive hours on a stretcher or in bed, presented with ≥ 2 chronic diseases, understood English, and were able to ambulate before admission. A cross-sectional observational design was used. Participants were presented written and oral descriptions and a 2-min video of each intervention. The sequence of the interventions' presention was randomized. Following the presentation, a research nurse administered measures of perceived acceptability and preference, and collected health and demographic data. Perceived acceptability and preference for the interventions were measured using the Treatment Acceptability and Preferences Scale. Illness severity was measured using the Modified Early Warning Score. Comorbidity was assessed with the Age Adjusted Charlson Comorbidity Scale and the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale - for Geriatrics. Baseline functional capacity was measured using the Duke Activity Status Index. RESULTS: Participants' perceived acceptability of both interventions clustered above the scale midpoint. Most preferred the sitting-to-walking intervention (n = 26; 43.3%). While none of the patient characteristics were associated with intervention acceptability, illness severity (odds ratio = 1.9, p = 0.04) and medications with orthostatic effects (odds ratio = 9.9, p = 0.03) were significantly associated with intervention preference. CONCLUSIONS: The interventions examined in this study were found to be acceptable to older adults, supporting future research examining their feasibility and effectiveness.