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Tim Henwood, Sharon Hetherington, Madeleine Purss, Kevin Rouse, Julie Morrow and Michele Smith

Exercise has proven health benefits for older adults independent of age, disability, and disease. However, barriers to exercise participation exist, including travel to, and access to, appropriate facilities and programs. Evidence shows that in-home exercise delivered by allied health professionals can improve physical health and prolong independence among individuals with government supported aged care packages. A less costly alternative is program delivery by home care workers. However, effective training for workers and resources to guide the consumer is required. This project evaluated an exercise training module for home care workers and a consumer resource to promote in-home exercise participation among older Australians with government supported aged care packages. Outcomes included a significant improvement in functional capacity as measured by the short physical performance battery (mean increase of 1.4 points), a 19% reduction in participants classified as frail and a reduction in healthcare service access of 47% across the intervention.

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Sharon Hetherington, Paul Swinton, Tim Henwood, Justin Keogh, Paul Gardiner, Anthony Tuckett, Kevin Rouse and Tracy Comans

In this article, the authors assessed the cost-effectiveness of center-based exercise training for older Australians. The participants were recipients of in-home care services, and they completed 24 weeks of progressive resistance plus balance training. Transport was offered to all participants. A stepped-wedge randomized control trial produced pre-, post-, and follow-up outcomes and cost data, which were used to calculate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios per quality-adjusted life year gained. Analyses were conducted from a health provider perspective and from a government perspective. From a health-service provider perspective, the direct cost of program provision was $303 per person, with transport adding an additional $1,920 per person. The incremental cost–utility ratio of the program relative to usual care was $70,540 per quality-adjusted life year over 6 months, decreasing to $37,816 per quality-adjusted life year over 12 months. The findings suggest that Muscling Up Against Disability offers good value for the money within commonly accepted threshold values.