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Open Access Study protocol

Studying feasibility and effects of a two-stage nursing staff training in residential geriatric care using a 30 month mixed-methods design [ISRCTN24344776]

Elsbeth Betschon1, Michael Brach2* and Virpi Hantikainen1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Applied Nursing Sciences IPW-FHS, St. Gallen University of Applied Sciences, FHS St. Gallen, Rosenbergstrasse 22, Postfach 627, CH-9001 St. Gallen, Switzerland

2 Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Muenster, Horstmarer Landweg 62b, 48149 Muenster, Germany

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BMC Nursing 2011, 10:10  doi:10.1186/1472-6955-10-10

Published: 31 May 2011



Transfer techniques and lifting weights often cause back pain and disorders for nurses in geriatric care. The Kinaesthetics care conception claims to be an alternative, yielding benefits for nurses as well as for clients.

Starting a multi-step research program on the effects of Kinaesthetics, we assess the feasibility of a two-stage nursing staff training and a pre-post research design. Using quantitative and qualitative success criteria, we address mobilisation from the bed to a chair and backwards, walking with aid and positioning in bed on the staff level as well as on the resident level. In addition, effect estimates should help to decide on and to prepare a controlled trial.


Standard basic and advanced Kinaesthetics courses (each comprising four subsequent days and an additional counselling day during the following four months) are offered to n = 36 out of 60 nurses in a residential geriatric care home, who are in charge of 76 residents. N = 22 residents needing movement support are participating to this study.

On the staff level, measurements include focus group discussions, questionnaires, physical strain self-assessment (Borg scale), video recordings and external observation of patient assistance skills using a specialised instrument (SOPMAS). Questionnaires used on the resident level include safety, comfort, pain, and level of own participation during mobilisation. A functional mobility profile is assessed using a specialised test procedure (MOTPA).

Measurements will take place at baseline (T0), after basic training (T1), and after the advanced course (T2). Follow-up focus groups will be offered at T1 and 10 months later (T3).


Ten criteria for feasibility success are established before the trial, assigned to resources (missing data), processes (drop-out of nurses and residents) and science (minimum effects) criteria. This will help to make rational decision on entering the next stage of the research program.

Trial Registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN24344776.