EMPOWER-GR: Enhancing Muscle POWER in Geriatric Rehabilitation

Lead Researcher Email Number Webpage
Professor Andrea B Maier Andrea.Maier@unimelb.edu.au + 61 3 8387 2137 View page

Project Details

EMPOWER-GR is a longitudinal, multi-centre study which characterises geriatric rehabilitation inpatients from three major hospitals, Northern, Western and Royal Melbourne Hospitals.

The multi-center EMPOWER-GR Consortium addresses the challenge of physical deconditioning in patients after acute disease by counteracting sarcopenia (low muscle mass and/or strength) using a five-stage, inter-disciplinary approach:

  1. Diagnostics: characterise the epidemiology of sarcopenia in a geriatric rehabilitation cohort;
  2. Intervention: evaluate the effects of exercise and nutritional interventions in a randomised clinical trial;
  3. Understanding: the biological mechanisms driving sarcopenia leading to novel interventions;
  4. Implementation: of diagnostic strategies and interventions as usual care in geriatric rehabilitation settings;
  5. Dissemination of findings to promote screening, diagnostics, intervention and education on national/international levels.



  • Prof Gordon Lynch, Professor of Physiology | Centre for Muscle Research | Department of Physiology, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Rene Koopman, Senior Lecturer | Centre for Muscle Research | Department of Physiology, University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof. J. Schwarz | Department of Geriatrics and Subacute Care | Western Health
  • A/Prof K. Ghosh  | Clinical Services Director | Department of Geriatrics and Subacute Care | Western Health
  • Dr. S. Brown | Department of Geriatrics and Subacute Care | Northern Health

International Advisory Board:

  • Dr. Carel Meskers, MD, rehabilitation specialist | Department of Rehabilitation Medicine VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam | MOVE Research Institute, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam | EMPOWER, PANINI, SHAPE, PreventIT, COGA and NeuroCIMT
  • A/Prof. C. Suetta | Department of Clinical Physiology  Rigshospitalet | University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Research Outcomes

  1. Verlaan S, Van Ancum JM, Pierik VD, Van Wijngaarden JP, Scheerman K, Meskers CGM, et al. Muscle measures and nutritional status at hospital admission predict survival and independent living of older patients - the EMPOWER study. J Frailty Aging 2017.
  2. Van Ancum JM, Scheerman K, Pierik VD, Numans ST, Verlaan S, Smeenk HA, et al. Muscle strength and muscle mass in older patients during hospitalization: the EMPOWER study. Gerontology 2017.
  3. Pierik VD, Meskers CGM, Van Ancum JM, Numans ST, Verlaan S, Scheerman K, et al. High risk of malnutrition is associated with low muscle mass in older hospitalized patients - a prospective cohort study. BMC Geriatrics 2017.
  4. Van Ancum JM, Scheerman K, Jonkman NH, Smeenk HE, Kruizinga RC, Meskers CGM, Maier AB. Change in muscle strength and muscle mass in older hospitalized patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Exp Gerontol. 2017 Jun;92:34-41.

Research Group


Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology


Royal Melbourne Hospital

Unit / Centre