Studies have shown that physical activity levels of older people admitted to hospital are very low. Some of the adverse effects of low physical activity levels in hospital include poorer physical function, longer hospital stay, and higher mortality. Research has shown that by introducing mobility programmes in hospital, the risk of some of these adverse effects may be reduced. However most studies have used paid staff such as rehabilitation assistants to deliver these interventions.
The aim of this study is to explore the feasibility of training volunteers to encourage older inpatients to walk more frequently and/or perform bed side exercises. We will assess the practicality of recruiting, training and retaining volunteers. We will interview patients, volunteers, and clinical staff to explore the acceptability of this intervention. Findings from this study will guide future implementation of this intervention on a larger scale. The study started early in 2016 and will report early in 2018.