A novel behavioural INTErvention to REduce Sitting Time in older adults undergoing orthopaedic surgery (INTEREST): results of a randomised-controlled feasibility study

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Background: Osteoarthritis is a prevalent condition in older adults that causes many patients to require a hip or knee replacement. Reducing patients’ sedentariness prior to surgery may improve physical function and post-operative outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a pragmatic randomised-controlled feasibility study with 2:1 allocation into intervention or usual care groups. The intervention, based on Self-Determination Theory, involved techniques to reduce sedentary behaviour, including motivational interviewing, setting of behavioural goals, and more. The primary outcome was feasibility, assessed using mixed methods. We included exploratory measures to inform a future definitive trial, such as ActivPal3 accelerometry to measure movement, the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), Basic Psychological Needs, and cardiometabolic biomarkers. Assessments were at baseline, 1-week pre-surgery, and 6-week post-surgery.

Results: We recruited 35 participants aged ≥ 60 years approximately 8 weeks before hip or knee arthroplasty. Participant uptake rate was 14.2%, and retention rate 85.7%. Participants were very satisfied with the study which was found to be feasible with some modifications. Exploratory within-group comparisons found that the intervention has potential to improve SPPB by 0.71 points from baseline to pre-surgery, a clinically significant increase, and reduce sedentary time by up to 66 min d −1.

Conclusion: In this older surgical population, it is feasible to use behavioural techniques to displace sedentary time to activity and to conduct a trial spanning the period of surgical intervention. This may improve physical function and surgical outcomes. The INTEREST intervention is now ready for evaluation in a full-scale randomised-controlled trial.

Registration: This trial was registered on Clinicaltrials.gov on 13/11/2018. ID: NCT03740412.


Original languageEnglish
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Early online date23 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jan 2020


  • Behaviour change, Intervention, Older adults, Osteoarthritis, Prehabilitation, Sedentary

ASJC Scopus subject areas