Interrupting bedtime to reverse frailty levels in acute care: a study protocol for the Breaking Bad Rest randomized controlled trial.
BACKGROUND: Hospitalized older patients spend most of the waking hours in bed, even if they can walk independently. Excessive bedrest contributes to the development of frailty and worse hospital outcomes. We describe the study protocol for the Breaking Bad Rest Study, a randomized clinical trial aimed to promoting more movement in acute care using a novel device-based approach that could mitigate the impact of too much bedrest on frailty. METHODS: Fifty patients in a geriatric unit will be randomized into an intervention or usual care control group. Both groups will be equipped with an activPAL (a measure of posture) and StepWatch (a measure of step counts) to wear throughout their entire hospital stay to capture their physical activity levels and posture. Frailty will be assessed via a multi-item questionnaire assessing health deficits at admission, weekly for the first month, then monthly thereafter, and at 1-month post-discharge. Secondary measures including geriatric assessments, cognitive function, falls, and hospital re-admissions will be assessed. Mixed models for repeated measures will determine whether daily activity differed between groups, changed over the course of their hospital stay, and impacted frailty levels. DISCUSSION: This randomized clinical trial will add to the evidence base on addressing frailty in older adults in acute care settings through a devices-based movement intervention. The findings of this trial may inform guidelines for limiting time spent sedentary or in bed during a patient's stay in geriatric units, with the intention of scaling up this study model to other acute care sites if successful. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The protocol has been registered at clinicaltrials.gov (identifier: NCT03682523).