Effects and contextual factors of a diet and resistance exercise intervention vary across settings: an overview of three successive ProMuscle interventions

Berber G. Dorhout*, Lisette C.P.G.M. de Groot, Ellen J.I. van Dongen, Esmée L. Doets, Annemien Haveman-Nies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although many effective interventions have been developed, limited interventions have successfully been implemented. An intervention that was translated across settings is ProMuscle: a diet and resistance exercise intervention for older adults. However, varying contexts often lead to varying effects due to contextual factors (characteristics of individuals, organizations, communities or society). The current study aimed to gain insights into effects and contextual factors of ProMuscle in the controlled setting (ProMuscle: PM), real-life setting (ProMuscle in Practice: PiP), and real-life setting of the implementation pilots (ProMuscle Implementation Pilots: IP). Methods: Data from the intervention arms of PM (N = 31) and PiP (N = 82), and from IP (N = 35) were used. Physical functioning (chair-rise test) and leg strength (1-10 repetition maximum) were measured at baseline and after 12-weeks intervention. Paired t-tests and General Linear Models were used to study changes after 12 weeks and differences between interventions. To explore contextual factors, researchers of PM and physiotherapists and dietitians of PiP and IP were interviewed. Factors were categorized according to the five domains and its underlying constructs of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Results: Improvements on chair-rise performance were found in PM (-2.0 ± 7.0 s, p = 0.186), PiP (-0.8 ± 2.9 s, p = 0.019) and IP (-3.3 ± 4.2 s, p = 0.001). Similar results were found for leg strength in PM (32.6 ± 24.8 kg, p < 0.001), PiP (17.0 ± 23.2 kg, p < 0.001), and IP (47.8 ± 46.8 kg, p < 0.001). Contextual factors that contribute to explaining the relatively high effects in IP included room for adapting and tailoring the intervention, involvement of experienced professionals, availability of and access to facilities, and participants characteristics. Conclusions: Effects of the intervention appeared to be strongest in the real-life setting of the implementation pilots. Specific contextual factors contributed to explaining the different findings across settings. Future studies should investigate crucial factors that determine successful implementation of interventions in the real-life setting, to ensure that effective interventions are put into action and reach a broad population. Trial registration: The ProMuscle intervention was registered in the Trial Registration (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01110369) on February 12th, 2010. The ProMuscle in Practice intervention was registered in the Netherlands Trial Register (NTR6038) on August 30th, 2016. Trial registration was not needed for the ProMuscle Implementation Pilots as this research did not fall within the remit of the Dutch ‘Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act’.

Original languageEnglish
Article number189
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2022


  • Context
  • Implementation
  • Lifestyle
  • Translation


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