Health-Promoting Interventions for Persons Aged 80 and Older Are Successful in the Short Term—Results from the Randomized and Three-Armed Elderly Persons in the Risk Zone Study


Address correspondence to Susanne Gustafsson, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, P.O. Box 455, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden. E-mail:



To examine the outcomes of the Elderly Persons in the Risk Zone study, which was designed to evaluate whether it is possible to delay deterioration if a health-promoting intervention is made when an older adult (≥80) is at risk of becoming frail and whether a multiprofessional group intervention is more effective in delaying deterioration than a single preventive home visit with regard to frailty, self-rated health, and activities of daily living (ADLs) at 3-month follow-up.


Randomized, three-armed, single-blind, controlled trial performed between November 2007 and May 2011.


Two urban districts of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Four hundred fifty-nine community-living adults aged 80 and older not dependent on the municipal home help service.


A preventive home visit or four weekly multiprofessional senior group meetings with one follow-up home visit.


Change in frailty, self-rated health, and ADLs between baseline and 3-month follow-up.


Both interventions delayed deterioration of self-rated health (odds ratio (OR) = 1.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.12–3.54). Senior meetings were the most beneficial intervention for postponing dependence in ADLs (OR = 1.95, 95% CI = 1.14–3.33). No effect on frailty could be demonstrated.


Health-promoting interventions made when older adults are at risk of becoming frail can delay deterioration in self-rated health and ADLs in the short term. A multiprofessional group intervention such as the senior meetings described seems to have a greater effect on delaying deterioration in ADLs than a single preventive home visit. Further research is needed to examine the outcome in the long term and in different contexts.