The lifestyle interventions and independence for elders (LIFE) pilot study: design and methods

Contemp Clin Trials. 2005 Apr;26(2):141-54. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2004.12.005.


The LIFE study is a multicenter pilot for a proposed full scale, two-arm randomized controlled trial that will contrast the effect of a physical activity intervention with a successful aging education program on the occurrence of incident major mobility disability (the inability to complete a 400 m walk) or death in at-risk sedentary older adults. Four hundred older adults from 4 clinical sites will be recruited for this purpose. All participants will be followed for at least 1-year; however, we will continue to follow all participants until the final randomized individual has reached the 1-year mark. This will enable us to acquire additional information about maintenance. Additional outcomes will include lower extremity physical performance as well as gait speed over 4 m and 400 m. These latter measures will provide data on the efficacy of the intervention on intermediate endpoints linked to the primary outcome of interest. The goals of the pilot study are to (a) estimate the sample size needed for a full scale trial, (b) examine the consistency of the effects of the physical activity intervention on several continuous measures of physical function, (c) assess the feasibility of recruitment, (d) evaluate study adherence and retention, (d) evaluate the efficacy of a stepped care approach for managing intercurrent illness in this at-risk population, and (e) develop a comprehensive system for monitoring and ensuring participant safety. Other goals of this pilot phase include assessments of health-related quality of life and cost-effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Research Design