Activ8 – Involving patients and carers in leading and acheving activity golas in an inpatient setting

Ms Liezel Van Eeden

1Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Wollongong , Australia

High quality efficient healthcare for frail and aged patients is a priority for the healthcare system. Studies have shown that for every 10 days of bed rest in hospital, the equivalent of 10 years muscle aging occurs in people over 80 years of age1/2.

Following a customer satisfaction survey, it was identified that patients and carers feel uncertain of what they can do to achieve better health outcomes whilst in hospital. This lack of knowledge and subsequent inability to actively participate in their recovery place them at risk of deterioration whilst in hospital.

Activ8 was implemented to involve patients with a length of stay longer than one week in developing and completing 8 actions per day to achieve their health goals.

The program targets patients at risk of frailty and provides education and a therapy program.  This facilitates independent or semi supervised therapy by either the Allied Health Assistant, nursing staff or the patient’s family to encourage compliance and completion of each action 7 days a week.

Preliminary results indicate an increase in the patient and carers understanding of and compliance with Therapy goals and action.

There is a push from patients and family to now share the Activ8 goal sheets between sites to ensure ongoing active involvement when patients are transferred from one facility to another.

Preliminary results suggest that collaborative working between Allied Health disciplines can lead to increased patient time and therapy.


Initial findings have shown a strong commitment from patients and carers in ownership and participation in their program. While our clinical study has yet to be completed, early results indicate that using a visual tool to promote active involvement in recovery, increases compliance and decrease the risk of deterioration.

  1. Gill T M, Allore H, Guo Z. (2004) The Deleterious effects of bed rest among community living older people,Journal of Geremtology, Medical Science, Vol 59A, No 7, 655-761.
  2. Kortebein P, Symons TB, Ferrando A, et al. (2008) Functional impact of 10 days of bed rest in healthy older adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2008;63:1076–1081.


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