Occupational therapy addressing the ability to perform activities of daily living among persons living with chronic conditions: a randomised controlled pilot study of ABLE 2.0

Vita Hagelskjær*, Kristina Tomra Nielsen, Cecilie von Bülow, Maud Graff, Eva Ejlersen Wæhrens


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Background: The ABLE intervention was developed to enhance the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) tasks among persons living with chronic conditions. ABLE is a generic, home-based, individualised, 8-week occupational therapy intervention program, developed to be delivered in Danish municipalities. In a previous study, the feasibility of ABLE was evaluated in terms of content and delivery. In this pilot study, the remaining feasibility aspects of a randomised controlled trial including (i) trial procedures (recruitment and retention), (ii) randomisation, (iii) adherence to program, (iv) feasibility of additional outcome measurements, and (iv) access to information on usual occupational therapy were evaluated. Methods: The study was conducted in a Danish municipality, using a two-armed parallel randomised controlled design, planning a recruitment strategy including 20 persons living with one/more chronic conditions and experiencing problems performing ADL. The following progression criteria were used to determine if a future full-scale randomised controlled trial was feasible: (i) recruitment (50% met the eligibility criteria) and retention (80%), (ii) randomisation (80% accepted randomisation, procedure was executed as planned), (iii) adherence to program (100% followed the treatment protocol), (iv) outcome measurements (80% of the participants delivered relevantly and fully answered questionnaires), and (v) usual occupational therapy (extraction of needed information was successful). Results: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the study was truncated resulting in limited but sufficient data to answer most of the study questions. (i) Eighteen of 37 eligible persons (48.6%) were recruited; of those treated (n = 6), all remained (100%); (ii) 18 accepted randomisation (100%), and procedure was effective; (iii) ABLE was delivered with adherence (100%); (iv) 92.3–100% of the participants gave relevant and complete answers in two of three questionnaires; and (v) needed information on usual occupational therapy was extractable in seven of nine aspects. Conclusions: Proceeding to full-scale trial is recommendable; however, a few adjustments on outcome measurements, inclusion criteria and extraction of information on usual occupational therapy are needed. Trial registration: The study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier: NCT04295837) on December 5th, 2019. Retrospectively registered.

TidsskriftPilot and Feasibility Studies
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 11. jun. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by: The Oak Foundation [OCAY-13-309]; The municipal fund for quality development [A327]; VIA University College; Southern Denmark University; Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, University of Copenhagen; Research Fund of the Danish Association of Occupational Therapy [FF1/19-R112-A2271 and FF2/19-R132-A2835]; and the Lundbeck foundation [A8059].

Funding Information:
First, we thank all pilot study participants for contributing. We also thank the involved health professionals, in the municipality of Herning for contributing to the study, and the Department of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy in the Regional Hospital West Jutland for contributing to the data collection.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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