Randomized controlled trial to evaluate a prevention program for frail community-dwelling older adults: a D-SCOPE protocol

Deborah Lambotte, Liesbeth De Donder, Ellen E De Roeck, Lieve J Hoeyberghs, Anne van der Vorst, Daan Duppen, Michaël Van der Elst, Bram Fret, Sarah Dury, An-Sofie Smetcoren, Martinus J M Kardol, Sebastiaan Engelborghs, Peter Paul De Deyn, Nico De Witte, Jos M G A Schols, Gertrudis I J M Kempen, G A Rixt Zijlstra, Jan De Lepeleire, Birgitte Schoenmakers, Dominique Verté, Eva Dierckx
BMC Geriatrics 2018 August 27, 18 (1): 194

BACKGROUND: Frail community-dwelling older adults, whom might experience problems regarding physical, cognitive, psychological, social and environmental factors, are at risk for adverse outcomes such as disability, institutionalization and mortality. People in need of help do not always find their way to care and support services and are left undetected. The aim of the D-SCOPE project is to detect frail community-dwelling older adults who previously went unnoticed and to improve their access to care and support. Goal is to increase their frailty-balance, quality of life, meaning in life, life satisfaction, mastery, community inclusion and ageing well in place.

METHODS/DESIGN: The study is a prospective, longitudinal randomized four-armed controlled trial with follow-up at 6 months. The study group aims to include 900 community-dwelling older adults aged 60 years and over from 3 municipalities in Flanders (Belgium). While selecting the study group, risk profiles for frailty will be taken into account. Participants will be randomly selected from the census records in each municipality. Data will be collected prospectively at baseline (T0) and at follow-up, 6 months after baseline (T1). At baseline, participants who are at least mild frail on one of the 5 domains of frailty (CFAI-plus) or feel frail based on the subjective assessment of frailty will be randomly assigned to (1) the study group or (2) the control group. A mixed method design with the inclusion of quantitative and qualitative data analyses will be used to evaluate the efficacy and experiences of the detection and prevention program on frailty.

DISCUSSION: The study will contribute to an innovative vision concerning the organization of care and support, and a timely and accurate detection and support of community-dwelling older adults at risk for frailty.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was registered at, on May 26, 2017, identifier: NCT03168204 .

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