USC seeks over 60s to test phone app to prevent frailty

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Sunshine Coast residents over 60 years of age are needed for a USC trial of a new mobile phone app designed to assess the risk of people becoming frail and provide interventions to reduce this risk.

Fifty local participants are required for the 18-month trial of the My Active and Healthy Aging (my-AHA) app as part of an extensive international study.

Associate Professor Mathew Summers, lead researcher at USC’s Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience – Thompson Institute, said the study would assess the app’s effectiveness in assessing a person’s risk for becoming frail and providing in-home interventions tailored to the individual’s needs.

“When people become physically frail, they are at greater risk of falling and sustaining serious injuries. In addition, physical frailty can lead to a loss of independence meaning that the frail older adult may require moving into residential care,” Associate Professor Summers said.

“By identifying people at greater risk of becoming frail, the goal of the my-AHA platform is to provide tailored interventions to enable the older adult to reverse their risk of frailty and remain living independently in their own homes.”

As well as being 60 years or older, participants need to be comfortable using a smart phone, have their own internet access, be able to stand and walk unassisted, have no history of significant cognitive impairment, have no existing psychological or psychiatric diagnosis and be healthy with no unstable medical conditions.

They should also have experienced one or more of the following symptoms in the past year: significant weight loss without dieting; feeling more exhausted; a slowing of movement or decline in physical strength; and reduced activity level.

Participants will be assessed by researchers from the Thompson Institute every six months to monitor their progress over time.

The global study includes researchers from Italy, Austria, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Japan and Korea.

It is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the European Union’s Horizon2020 program.

To participate, contact Associate Professor Summers on 07 5456 3758 or msummers@usc.edu.au

 
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