Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
The Functional Fitness MOT is made up of a number of different physical function tests that help older people to see how fit they are when compared to their peers. It can be used to highlight a person’s strengths and weaknesses and as a motivator to increase physical activity. This study is looking at whether using the FFMOT by the Edinburgh Community Physiotherapy Service will be acceptable to patients, and likely to result in health benefits by helping people become more active. This will be the first time the Functional Fitness MOT has been tested in a physiotherapy department. The FFMOT was devised by Glasgow Caledonian University to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity and how fit one needs to for independent living, for people aged 60 years and over. It involves six simple physical tests, for example walking and stretching, to assess how fit older people compared to what is considered normal for their age and sex. The test results will be used by the physiotherapy staff running the MOT to discuss with participants the types of activities which may help them to become more fit and active. They will also provide information about appropriate local activity opportunities and home exercise based on the FFMOT test results.
Who can participate?
Adults aged at least 60 who are not very active.
What does the study involve?
All participants are first asked to complete two questionnaires about their levels of physical activity. They then have the FFMOT. The participants are asked to fill in the two questionnaires again three months later to assess any differences in physical activity levels. They are also invited to attend focus groups 2-4 weeks after the FFMOT to discuss their experiences of taking part.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There is increasing evidence that regular exercise can have a health benefit. The FFMOT is a safe way of assessing participants exercise performance and the physiotherapy staff will monitor participants closely during the FFMOT session. All of the tests involve activities that people already do in their daily life. It is possible that participants will feel tired after the FFMOT session. Participants can always, at any moment, withdraw from the FFMOT tests or session. The information from this study will provide useful information about a possible method of improving physical activity and quality of life for people 60 years and over who wish to become more active.
Where is the study run from?
The Slateford Medical Practice and Sighthill Health Centre, both in Edinburgh
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
January 2014 to June 2016
Who is funding the study?
Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Prof. Dawn Skelton
Prof Dawn A. Skelton
Glasgow Caledonian University
Institute for Applied Health Research
School of Health & Life Sciences
A258 Govan Mbeki Building
+44 (0)141 331 8792
Phase I feasibility study of the Functional Fitness MOT: engaging older patients of a physiotherapy service in healthier levels of activity
The main aims of this study are:
1. To assess whether the Functional Fitness MOT (FFMOT), provided in a healthcare setting, is appealing to older patients of a community physiotherapy service
2. To understand the views and perceptions of the older people undergoing the FFMOT regarding the intervention, and the views of the physiotherapy staff delivering the intervention
Secondary aims are to assess the feasibility of carrying out a phase 2 pilot randomised controlled trial of the FFMOT, in the context of a community physiotherapy service, by establishing whether enough patients can be recruited and retained in the study, and enough outcome data can be generated.
1. NHS South East Scotland Research Ethics Committee 01, Scotland UK, 20/07/2015, ref: 15/SS/0118
2. NHS Lothian Research & Development Office, 03/08/2015, ref: 2015/0283
Phase I feasibility study
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Non randomised study
Quality of life
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet.
Physically inactive, medically stable older adults (60 years+)
Participants will be asked to attend Slateford Physiotherapy Clinic (in Slateford Medical Centre) where the researcher will meet them to check that they are happy to proceed. If so, they will then guide the participants through the process of signing a consent form. They will then ask participants to complete a physical activity questionnaire (called CHAMPS) which gives information about how active participants have been in the past 4 weeks and takes about 20 minutes to complete. Participants will then be taken through to meet one of the Technical Instructors for the actual Functional Fitness MOT (FFMOT). The FFMOT test comprises of a set of six (out of the usual seven) standardised, validated, age-appropriate tests aimed at raising awareness of the different components of fitness. This includes, for example, walking and stretching, to assess how fit older adults are in relation to normal values for their age and sex.
The visit to the clinic that day will take no more than 1½ hours in total. After the FFMOT appointment participants will be asked to complete the same CHAMPS questionnaire, and another brief questionnaire about physical activity (which takes about 10 minutes to complete) three months after the FFMOT session. These follow-up questionnaires will be posted out to the participants so they can be filled in at home and sent back to the researcher in a pre-paid envelope.
In order to hear about people’s experiences of the FFMOT in their own words the participants will be invited to attend a focus discussion group session. This will be led by a researcher, and will not involve any of the physiotherapy staff. The focus group will take place at Slateford Medical Centre, 2-4 weeks after the FFMOT session. The focus group will last no more than 1½ hours and will involve up to 12 people, all of whom will have attended for a FFMOT as part of this study. The researcher will record this discussion on an audio recorder to help with analysing the data. The audio recordings will be destroyed as soon as they have been transcribed.
Primary outcome measures
Recruitment and retention rates at the key stages of the study
Secondary outcome measures
1. Physical activity, assessed by the CHAMPS physical activity questionnaire, just before the FFMOT test and 12 weeks later
2. Physical activity as measured by a bespoke post-intervention questionnaire, just before the FFMOT test and 12 weeks later
3. Peoples experiences of the FFMOT test, via focus group discussions, 2-4 weeks after the FFMOT test
4. Semi-structured staff interviews
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Aged ≥60 years
2. Not physically active for at least 30 minutes on five days or more, or for at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) in total in the past week, as indicated by the questions on the Scottish Physical Activity Screening Question
3. Interested in increasing their level of PA (where this is seen as an appropriate goal by the screening physiotherapist)
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Identification of health risks (contraindications to exercise; e.g. cardiovascular disease) which prevents participation
2. Diagnosis of moderate/severe cognitive impairment, a learning disability, severe mental illness, or the screening physiotherapist believes that any of these impairments/disorders are present
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Slateford Medical Practice
Department of Physiotherapy 27 Gorgie Park Close
Trial participating centre
Sighthill Health Centre
Department of Physiotherapy 380 Calder Road
Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation (Reference number 10-338)
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
We intend to publish the study protocol in 2016, and we intend to publish the results in 2016/2017
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Results - basic reporting
2016 protocol in: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27324114