Supporting Habit Formation to Attenuate Prefrailty in Elders: Pilot Study

2019-10-31 14:29:42 | BioPortfolio


The Supporting Habit Formation to Attenuate Prefrailty in Elders (SHAPE) Pilot Study is a randomized control study. The main objective of this pilot study is to determine the feasibility of using Habit Formation (HF) treatment to increase Physical Activity (PA) (reduction in daily in hours of sedentary time), and dietary among prefrail African Americans. We hypothesize: (1)The SHAPE study will demonstrate good feasibility with a high recruitment rate and successful administration all of the measures among the target population; (2) Treatment group participants will demonstrate greater increases in primary outcomes (physical activity level and dietary quality) and secondary outcomes (quality of life, depressive symptoms, prefrailty reduction, lower extremity strength and balance, physical activity level, waist circumference, and weight at intervention completion.


Frailty signifies a decline in physical, cognitive and/or psychosocial reserve that reduces an older adult's ability to respond to or recover from stressors (e.g., acute illness) and contributes to early morbidity and mortality. Nearly half of all older adults are prefrail, and prefrailty status increases the risk of becoming frail. Frailty is more prevalent among African Americans and occurs earlier in life when compared to European Americans. Older African Americans in the US, face significant challenges in adhering to frailty reduction treatment such as increasing physical activity (PA) and adopt a healthy diet. Those challenges include poverty, accelerated aging, higher levels of activities of daily living disability, and less access to safe opportunities for PA or healthy food. The situation is even worse for urban-dwelling older African Americans, who often reside in neighborhoods replete with physical and social stressors (e.g., derelict infrastructure or crime) that intersect with the vulnerabilities of aging, to further complicate their efforts to engage in frailty protective behaviors. Despite this, frailty interventions overwhelmingly exclude African Americans, thereby limiting generalizability to this high-risk group.

Therefore, the rationale of this study is to test the feasibility of a novel habit formation (HF) intervention to facilitate frailty protective behaviors in prefrail African Americans ages 55 and older in a randomized control trial study. The HF intervention targets two main health behaviors: decrease sedentary time (ST) and improve dietary quality. The intervention consists of 12 treatment sessions over 12 weeks. In each session, an occupational therapist will deliver educational content, and use HF techniques and behavioral skills to facilitate frailty protective behaviors. Forty-eight prefrail African American adults will be randomized to the treatment or control group. The baseline evaluation will be conducted before randomization and the follow-up evaluation after the last treatment session. For the treatment group participants, we will further evaluation occupational activity performance/satisfaction and habit formation strength within treatment sessions.

The main goal of this study is to determine the feasibility of HF intervention among prefrail African American adults. The main hypothesis is: the SHAPE study will demonstrate good feasibility with (1) high recruitment rate (recruit 48 participants over 6 months), (2) treatment group participants will show preliminary efficacy in primary outcomes such as reducing sedentary time (measured by the ActivPal device) and increasing dietary quality score (measured by Healthy Eating Index [HEI]) at intervention completion compared to controls. The secondary hypothesis is: treatment group participants will demonstrate preliminary efficacy in secondary outcomes such as increased quality of life (measured by the Cardiovascular Health Study frailty criteria), reduced depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Short form), prefrailty reduction (The Fried's Frailty Criteria Index), increased lower extremity strength and balance (Short Physical Performance Battery), increased physical activity level (The Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors), reduced waist circumference and weight at intervention completion compare to controls.

Study Design




Habit Formation, Education


Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
United States




Wayne State University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-31T14:29:42-0400

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