Modified Application of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Older Adults (MACRO) Trial: Protocol changes in a pragmatic multi-site randomized controlled trial in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Contemp Clin Trials. 2021 Nov 22:106633. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2021.106633. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Older adults are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and to functional decline, often leading to deterioration and dependency. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) provides opportunity to improve clinical and functional recovery, yet participation in CR decreases with age. Modified Application of CR in Older Adults (MACRO) is a National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded pragmatic trial that responds to this gap by aiming to increase enrollment of older adults into CR and improving functional outcomes. This article describes the methodology and novel features of the MACRO trial.

METHODS: Randomized, controlled trial of a coaching intervention (MACRO-I) vs. usual care for older adults (age ≥ 70 years) eligible for CR after an incident cardiac hospitalization. MACRO-I incorporates innovations including holistic risk assessments, flexible CR format (i.e., helping patients to select a CR design that aligns with their personal risks and preferences), motivational prompts, nutritional emphasis, facilitated deprescription, enhanced education, and home visits. Key modifications were necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including switching from a performance-based primary endpoint (Short Physical Performance Battery) to a patient-reported measure (Activity Measure for Post-Acute Care Computerized Adaptive Testing). Changes prompted by COVID-19 maintain the original intent of the trial and provide key methodologic advantages.

CONCLUSIONS: MACRO is exploring a novel individualized coaching intervention to better enable older patients to participate in CR. Due to COVID-19 many aspects of the MACRO protocol required modification, but the primary objective of the trial is maintained and the updated protocol will more effectively achieve the original goals of the study.

PMID:34823001 | DOI:10.1016/j.cct.2021.106633

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