Activity Tracker: A Booster to Enhance Activity Level of Elderly Patients undergoing Inpatient Rehabilitation?

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Abstract Summary
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Authors (including presenting author) :
Lau KM(1), Mo KC(1)
Affiliation :
(1) Physiotherapy Department, Tai Po Hospital, Hong Kong
Objectives :
To investigate whether the use of commercially available activity tracker (MiBand) can increase the physical activity level of elderly orthopaedic patients in inpatient setting, and hence achieving a higher functional status on discharge.
Methodology :
This is a two-arm (experimental-control), single blind (assessor-blinded) randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 7 days intervention period. 47 community dwelling elderly patients having lower limb fractures and cognitively sound were randomly assigned into two groups with activity trackers applied. Both groups received same physiotherapy service comprising strengthening, ambulation and functional training while only patients and therapists in experimental group were provided with daily activity data (i.e. steps count and active time) as additional information.
Result & Outcome :
36 sets of completed data (19 experimental and 17 control) were analyzed. With similar baseline characteristic and functional status, significant higher 7 day cumulative step counts (8238 ± 5751 vs 3297 ± 2462 steps, p=0.002) and active time (180.3 ± 80.9 vs 96.1 ± 46.2 minutes, p=0.001) were found in experimental group. Comparable discharge functional outcomes (Elderly mobility Scale (EMS): 16.53 ± 4.39 vs 15.18 ± 4.68, p=0.378 and Modified Functional Ambulation Classification (MFAC) 6.11 ± 0.99 vs 5.88 ± 1.05, p=0.518) were achieved with a significant shorter length of stay (16.79 ± 3.60 vs 20.35 ± 6.01 days, p=0.036) in experimental group (statistical analysis using Independent-sampled t test except independent-sampled Mann-Whitney U test for MFAC) The use of off-the-shelf activity tracker was able to enhance the activity level with more efficient functional gain in our target group.

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