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A home based intervention reduced disability in physically frail older people

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 QUESTION: In physically frail older people, how effective is a home based intervention aimed to prevent functional decline?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (outcome assessors),* controlled trial with 12 months of follow up.


Primary care practices in Connecticut, USA.


188 people ≥75 years of age (mean age 83 y, 80% women) who lived at home and were physically frail (needed >10 s to walk a 3.0 m course and back and inability to stand from a seated position in a hardback chair with their arms folded). People who met 1 of the frailty criteria were moderately frail; people who met both were severely frail. Exclusion criteria included inability to walk; receipt of physical therapy or exercise programme; dementia; and stroke, hip fracture, myocardial infarction, or hip or knee replacement surgery in the past 6 months. Follow up data were available for 176 people (94%).


Participants were allocated to …

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  • Sources of funding: National Institute on Aging and Gaylord Rehabilitation Research Institute.

  • For correspondence: Dr T M Gill, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. gill{at}

  • * See glossary.