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Development of a community intervention combining social media-based health education plus exercise programme (SHEEP) to improve muscle function among young-old adults with possible sarcopenia: Co-design approach.

Maturitas 2024 May 25
OBJECTIVES: There is no precedent for the use of social media in preventing sarcopenia. The aim of this study is to develop a social media-based intervention programme for the young-old population in the community in China to improve their awareness and behaviours regarding sarcopenia prevention.

STUDY DESIGN: Using guidelines for developing complex interventions, this study was divided into two main phases: a co-development phase and a preliminary test phase. Both were carried out in Changsha, China. The development phase employed co-design methodology with relevant stakeholders, including two rounds of consultation with patient and public involvement (12 members) and two rounds of focus groups (30 participants); this was followed by the three-week preliminary test phase (22 participants).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: This study evaluated the consultation with patient and public involvement, and mainly collected qualitative data from the two rounds of focus group interviews and a final semi-structured interview following the preliminary test, so as to explore the participants' experiences, comments, and suggestions for revising the social media-based intervention. Handgrip strength was also evaluated.

RESULTS: The health education included seven videos of 4-6 min each related to sarcopenia, including information on the concept, influencing factors, adverse effects, manifestations, screening methods, and preventions. The exercise video consisted of four types of training (warm-up, aerobic, resistance, and flexibility training) and lasted 30 min, with a suggested engagement of at least 3 days/week. The specific contents and "dosage" of the final intervention were unanimously favourable to the diverse stakeholders involved (older adults with possible sarcopenia, experts, researchers). After the preliminary test, an improvement in handgrip strength was observed, from M15.92±SD5.22 kg to M19.13±SD5.44 kg (T = -5.44, P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis revealed that this improvement was evident in both men and women.

CONCLUSIONS: The social media-based intervention was universally endorsed by the participants and showed indications of a positive influence on sarcopenia. A feasibility study is now needed.

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