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BACKGROUND: Distal radius fractures represent about 1 in 5 of all fractures treated in UK hospitals. Most distal radius fractures occur in women aged 50 years or over after a fall. Distal radius fractures are managed using splints or casting, some are also treated with surgical fixation. Patients often experience long-term muscle weakness of the hand and arm that may impact their ability to do daily activities such as personal hygiene, routine household chores and food preparation. We propose a structured and tailored flexibility and resistance exercise programme for the hand and arm supplemented with behaviour change strategies to help perform daily exercise. The main aim of our study is to assess the feasibility of conducting a definitive randomised controlled trial. METHODS: This study is a multicentre, parallel-group individually randomised feasibility trial. We will recruit a minimum of 72 adults aged 50 years or over with distal radius fracture treated surgically or non-surgically from at least three UK National Health Service (NHS) hospitals. They will be randomised 1:1:1 to receive usual care, usual care and independent exercise with a single therapy session or usual care and supervised exercise with three therapy sessions over 12 weeks. Our primary feasibility objectives are (1) patient engagement assessed by recruitment, (2) acceptability of the interventions assessed by adherence and patient and clinician experience and (3) retention of participants in the trial. Outcome measures will be assessed at baseline, 3 months and at 6 months after randomisation. A qualitative sub-study will explore the experiences of the trial participants and therapists delivering the exercises. DISCUSSION: A definitive trial will be considered feasible without major modifications if our progression criteria are met. If successful, the findings will inform the design of a future definitive RCT to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the WISE exercise programme. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN12290145 .

Original publication




Journal article


Pilot feasibility stud

Publication Date





Adherence, Distal radius fracture, Exercise, Function, Pain, Quality of life