OBJECTIVES: To examine clinical outcomes and describe the staffing requirements of an incontinence and exercise intervention.
DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial with blinded assessments of outcomes at three points over 8 months.
SETTING: Four nursing homes.
PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred fifty-six incontinent residents.
INTERVENTION: Research staff provided the intervention, which integrated incontinence care and exercise every 2 hours from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 5 days a week.
MEASUREMENTS: Average and maximum distance walked or wheeled, level of assistance required to stand, maximum pounds lifted by arms, fecal and urinary incontinence frequency, and time required to implement intervention.
RESULTS: Intervention residents maintained or improved performance whereas the control group's performance declined on 14 of 15 outcome measures. Repeated measures analysis of variance group-by-time significance levels ranged from P < .0001 to .05. The mean time required to implement the intervention each time care was provided was 20.7 ± 7.2 minutes. We estimate that a work assignment of approximately five residents to one aide would be necessary to provide this intervention.
CONCLUSIONS: The incontinence care and exercise intervention resulted in significant improvement for most residents, and most who could be reliably interviewed expressed a preference for such care. Fundamental changes in the staffing of most nursing homes will be necessary to translate efficacious clinical interventions into everyday practice.