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Systematic scoping review of frameworks used to develop rehabilitation interventions for older adults

Booth, Vicky; Hood-Moore, Victoria; Hancox, Jennie E; Logan, Phillipa; Robinson, Katie R


Victoria Hood-Moore

Professor of Rehabilitation Research

Principal Research Fellow


Objectives: Rehabilitation interventions for older adults are complex as they involve a number of interacting components, have multiple outcomes of interest and are influenced by a number of contextual factors. The importance of rigorous intervention development prior to formal evaluation has been acknowledged and a number of frameworks have been developed. This review explored which frameworks have been used to guide the development of rehabilitation interventions for older adults.
Design: Systematic scoping review.
Setting: Studies were not limited for inclusion based on setting.
Participants: Studies were included that featured older adults (>65 years of age).
Interventions: Studies were included that reported the development of a rehabilitation intervention.
Primary and secondary outcome measures: Data was extracted on study population, setting, type of intervention developed and frameworks used. The primary outcome of interest was the type of intervention development framework.
Results: Thirty-five studies were included. There was a range of underlying medical conditions including mild cognitive impairment and dementia (n=5), cardiac (n=4), stroke (n=3), falls (n=3), hip fracture (n=2), diabetes (n=2), breast cancer (n=1), Parkinson’s disease (n=1), depression (n=1), chronic health problems (n=1), osteoarthritis (n=1), leg ulcer (n=1), neck pain (n=1) and foot problems (n=1). The intervention types being developed included multicomponent, support-based, cognitive, physical activities, nursing-led, falls prevention and occupational therapy-led. Twelve studies (34%) did not report using a framework. Five frameworks were reported with the Medical Research Council (MRC) Framework for Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions being the most frequently cited
(77%, n=17).
Conclusion: At present the MRC Framework is the most popular for developing rehabilitation interventions for older adults. Many studies do not report using a framework. Further, specific guidance to assist this complex field of rehabilitation research is required.


Booth, V., Hood-Moore, V., Hancox, J. E., Logan, P., & Robinson, K. R. (2019). Systematic scoping review of frameworks used to develop rehabilitation interventions for older adults. BMJ Open, 9(2),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 21, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 22, 2019
Publication Date Feb 22, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 7, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 26, 2019
Journal BMJ Open
Electronic ISSN 2044-6055
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 2
Article Number e024185
Keywords Older adults; rehabilitation; intervention development
Public URL
Publisher URL


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