An individualized exercise programme with and without behavioural change enhancement strategies for managing fatigue among frail older people: A quasi-experimental pilot study

Justina Yat Wa Liu, Claudia K.Y. Lai, Parco M. Siu, Enid Kwong, Mun Yee Mimi Tse

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and preliminary effects of an individualized exercise programme with and without behavioural change enhancement strategies for frail older people with fatigue. Design: A three-arm, single-blinded, quasi-experimental pilot study. Setting: Community health centres. Participants: A total of 79 frail older people with fatigue, mean age 79.32 years (±7.72). Interventions: The combined group received a 16-week combined intervention consisting of exercise training and a behavioural change enhancement programme. The exercise group received exercise training and health talks, whereas the control group received only health talks. Main outcome measure(s): Feasibility was assessed through the participants' recruitment, retention, attendance and adherence, feedback, and reports of adverse events. The preliminary effects were assessed by the participants' level of fatigue, physical endurance, self-efficacy, and self-perceived compliance with exercise. Results: Feasibility was achievable with high recruitment (87.2%) and low overall attrition (7.1%) rates. A similar reduction in fatigue was identified in all groups, but a trend of greater improvement in physical endurance was observed in the combined group than in the other two groups. The combined group also had a significantly better attendance rate [F(2,76) = 5.64, p < 0.01)] and higher self-perceived exercise compliance than the exercise group. Conclusion: The combined intervention has the potential to enhance the participants' adherence to exercise regimens by improving their attendance in training sessions and their self-perceived exercise compliance. They are important to maintaining an appropriate level of engagement in daily exercises, especially at the beginning stages of behavioural change, when the participants are establishing the habit of exercising daily.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Behavioural enhancement
  • Exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Frailty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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