Implementation of the StandingTall programme to prevent falls in older people: a process evaluation protocol

Morag E Taylor, Chris Todd, Sandra O'Rourke, Lindy M Clemson, Jacqueline Ct Close, Stephen R Lord, Thomas Lung, David J Berlowitz, Jannette Blennerhassett, Jessica Chow, Julia Dayhew, Helen Hawley-Hague, Wendy Hodge, Kirsten Howard, Pamela Johnson, Reena Lasrado, Garth McInerney, Marita Merlene, Lillian Miles, Catherine M SaidLeanne White, Nicola Wilson, Avigdor Zask, Kim Delbaere

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INTRODUCTION: One in three people aged 65 years and over fall each year. The health, economic and personal impact of falls will grow substantially in the coming years due to population ageing. Developing and implementing cost-effective strategies to prevent falls and mobility problems among older people is therefore an urgent public health challenge. StandingTall is a low-cost, unsupervised, home-based balance exercise programme delivered through a computer or tablet. StandingTall has a simple user-interface that incorporates physical and behavioural elements designed to promote compliance. A large randomised controlled trial in 503 community-dwelling older people has shown that StandingTall is safe, has high adherence rates and is effective in improving balance and reducing falls. The current project targets a major need for older people and will address the final steps needed to scale this innovative technology for widespread use by older people across Australia and internationally.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This project will endeavour to recruit 300 participants across three sites in Australia and 100 participants in the UK. The aim of the study is to evaluate the implementation of StandingTall into the community and health service settings in Australia and the UK. The nested process evaluation will use both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore uptake and acceptability of the StandingTall programme and associated resources. The primary outcome is participant adherence to the StandingTall programme over 6 months.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been obtained from the South East Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC reference 18/288) in Australia and the North West- Greater Manchester South Research Ethics Committee (IRAS ID: 268954) in the UK. Dissemination will be via publications, conferences, newsletter articles, social media, talks to clinicians and consumers and meetings with health departments/managers.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e048395
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2021


  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


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