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FLEXI Update October 2022

FLEXI is a study looking at how to scale-up and spread the Falls Management Exercise (FaME) programme. FaME is an evidence-based physical activity programme aimed at reducing falls and injury from falls in older adults.  Whilst there is strong evidence that FaME is clinically and cost effective, and is recommended in national guidelines, it is still not routinely available across the UK. 

FLEXI seeks to address three research questions. 

  1. What works to foster the spread of FaME
  2. How is FaME delivered and adapted to local circumstances
  3. What works to maintain the quality of FaME over time

To answer these questions we are focusing on two new localities: Devon and Greater Manchester and also looking at delivery in the East Midlands region, where FaME was implemented some time ago.

To date we have recruited 16 providers of FaME across the three localities. Some have the ‘green light’ to start providing research data and some are still waiting their NHS approvals to start. Interviews with providers of FaME and stakeholders that influence provision locally are underway and interviews with participants of FaME are planned to start soon. We will be looking at data from observations of classes to look at how delivery is adapted and how well it adheres to the original FaME programme and we will be collecting cost data to understand how much it costs to run the programmes.  This will be used to update existing cost effectiveness data.  We will also analyse outcome data from the sites.  This is information relating to the participants and how much they are improving physically over time and information about how often they attend.  We are collecting this data now and will analyse it in the new year.  Finally we are also looking at documents relating to the local commissioning and delivery of FaME in our research sites and will be analysing these documents in the new year too.

In summary, recruitment of sites is complete but here are a few outstanding permissions to be gained to start the research.  We are in the data collection phase for sites that we have permission for and will aim to complete all of the data collection by Easter next year.  We then move into the data analysis and outputs phase.