Health Promotion and Preventive Care Intervention for Older Community-Dwelling People: Long-Term Effects of a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) within the LUCAS Cohort

J Nutr Health Aging. 2017;21(9):1016-1023. doi: 10.1007/s12603-017-0932-1.


Objectives: An RCT of a health promotion and preventive care intervention was done in 2001-2002. Here, long-term analyses based on 12 years of follow-up of survival and of change in functional competence between intervention and control group are presented. Positive 1-year results (significantly higher use of preventive services and better health behaviour) were presented earlier.

Design: Parallel group randomised controlled trial (RCT) with 878 participants in the intervention and 1,702 participants in the control group.

Setting: The study took place in Hamburg, Germany and made use of health care structures and professionals of a geriatrics centre.

Participants: Study participants were initially community-dwelling, aged 60 years and older and without B-ADL-restrictions, cognitive impairment, or need of nursing care, with sufficient command of the German language.

Interventions: Health promotion and preventive care interventions relied on an extensive health questionnaire and the subsequent offer to participate in multi-topic personal reinforcement performed in small group sessions or at preventive home visits.

Measurements: Primary outcome: Survival time; in some analyses, adjustments were made for gender, age and self-perceived health. Secondary outcome: Functional competence (LUCAS Functional Ability Index) based on responses to self-administered questionnaires at 1-year follow-up and 12 years after 1-year follow-up (2013/2014).

Results: Mean time under observation was 10.3 years. 38.3% (987/2,580) of the participants died; intervention group (IG): 35.7% (313/878), control group (CG): 39.6% (674/1,702); HR=0.89; p=0.09. Functional competence at 1-year follow-up: IG: ROBUST 67.4% (391/580), FRAIL 11.9% (69/580) vs. CG: ROBUST 62.9% (861/1,368), FRAIL 14.8% (203/1,368); p=0.12. 12-years after 1-year follow-up: IG: ROBUST 50.0% (160/320), FRAIL 30.9% (99/320) vs. CG: ROBUST 48.9% (307/628), FRAIL 34.1% (214/628); p=0.56.

Conclusions: Insignificant but consistent effects on survival and the dynamics of functional competence suggest effectivity of the complex intervention. We plan to take a closer look at the effect of each reinforcement separately.

Keywords: Healthy ageing; ITT-survival-analysis; functional competence; health behaviour intervention; reinforcement strategies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatrics
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living / standards*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires