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Hughes JM, Bartle JT, Choate AL, Mahanna EP, Meyer CL, Tucker MC, Wang V, Allen KD, Van Houtven CH, Hastings SN. Walking All over COVID-19: The Rapid Development of , an Innovative Approach to Enhance a Hospital-Based Walking Program during the Pandemic. Geriatrics (Basel, Switzerland). 2021 Nov 10; 6(4).
Hospitalization is common among older adults. Prolonged time in bed during hospitalization can lead to deconditioning and functional impairments. Our team is currently working with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers across the United States to implement STRIDE (assiSTed eaRly mobIlity for hospitalizeD older vEterans), a hospital-based walking program designed to mitigate the risks of immobility during hospitalization. However, the COVID-19 pandemic made in-person, or face-to-face, walking challenging due to social distancing recommendations and infection control concerns. In response, our team applied principles of implementation science, including stakeholder engagement, prototype development and refinement, and rapid dissemination and feedback, to create STRIDE in Your Room (SiYR). Consisting of self-guided exercises, light exercise equipment (e.g., TheraBands, stress ball, foam blocks, pedometer), the SiYR program provided safe alternative activities when face-to-face walking was not available during the pandemic. We describe the methods used in developing the SiYR program; present feedback from participating sites; and share initial implementation experiences, lessons learned, and future directions.