Feasibility of Implementing an Exercise Program in a Geriatric Assessment Unit: the SPRINT Program

Andréanne Juneau, Aline Bolduc, Philippe Nguyen, Bernard-Simon Leclerc, Jacqueline Rousseau, François Dubé, Marie-Ève Ringuet, Marie-Jeanne Kergoat



An exercise program involving patients, caregivers, and professionals, entitled SPecific Retraining in INTerdisciplinarity (SPRINT), has been developed to prevent functional decline during hospitalization of older patients.


Assess the feasibility of implementing SPRINT in the context of a Geriatric Assessment Unit (GAU).


GAU’s health-care professionals were instructed with the SPRINT. All new patients were evaluated by a physiotherapist shortly after admission to validate the eligibility criteria and allocation category of exercises. Questionnaires on physical activities were filled out by professionals, patients, and caregivers at baseline and after intervention. Quantitative and qualitative information was collected on adherence to the program.


SPRINT was applied to 19 of the 50 patients admitted during the three-month pilot study. A daily average of one exercise session per patient was performed, most frequently with a nurse (37%), physician (20%), care attendant (13%) or by the patient alone (22%). The caregivers participated only 4% of the time. Barriers and facilitators in applying SPRINT have been identified.


SPRINT appears relevant and applicable within GAUs. Future studies should be conducted to assess its safety and effectiveness in preventing hospital-related functional decline.


feasibility study; frail elderly; Geriatric Assessment Units; functional decline prevention; exercise training

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.21.311


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ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)