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INTRODUCTION: Exercise is a widely used treatment modality for older people with musculoskeletal conditions. The effectiveness of exercise programmes is limited by adherence. The aims of this study were to examine the acceptability and feasibility of the AERO intervention in facilitating exercise adherence in older people with musculoskeletal conditions, and to inform the design of a future randomised controlled trial. METHODS: A two arm feasibility randomised controlled trial with an embedded qualitative study conducted at one orthopaedic hospital in the South of England. Older adults referred to physiotherapy with musculoskeletal conditions were randomised to receive either usual care consisting of standard physiotherapy only, or the AERO intervention, consisting of usual care with the addition of tailored exercise adherence approaches based on a brief behavioural assessment. Feasibility outcomes included recruitment, randomisation, retention, acceptability, and fidelity to trial protocol. Secondary outcomes included exercise adherence, physical activity, and behavioural regulation. RESULTS: 48 participants were recruited to the study with 27 randomised to usual care and 21 to AERO and usual care. On the basis of recruitment, retention, the acceptability to participants and physiotherapists and fidelity, the AERO intervention was determined to be feasible. CONCLUSION: The AERO intervention in which participants received tailored adherence strategies based on a behavioural assessment plus standard physiotherapy is feasible and acceptable. It is now ready to be tested in an adequately powered randomised controlled trial. CONTRIBUTION OF THE PAPER: CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: This study was registered at REF: NCT03643432.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





88 - 96


Exercise adherence, Musculoskeletal conditions, Older adults, Humans, Aged, Feasibility Studies, England, Physical Therapy Modalities, Exercise, Musculoskeletal Diseases