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Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Oct;63(1-2):205-14. Epub 2006 Jan 19.

Once a week not enough, twice a week not feasible? A randomised controlled exercise trial in long-term care facilities [ISRCTN87177281].

Author information

  • 1Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands. M.Chinapaw@vumc.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effectiveness of three different training protocols on physical function of older adults living in long-term care facilities. Emphasis was placed on feasibility in real-life situations.

METHODS:

Subjects (N=224) were randomised to 6 months of twice weekly (1) resistance training; (2) all-round functional-skills training; (3) a combination of both; or (4) a control program. Fitness and performance measures and self-reported disability were measured at baseline and after 24 weeks intervention.

RESULTS:

Attendance to the strength training was 76%, to the functional-skills training 70% and to the combined training 73%. In those who attended at least 75% of all classes (n=97) the functional-skills and combined training program improved several fitness and performance measures compared to the control group.

CONCLUSION:

Twice weekly functional-skills training, or a combination of resistance and functional-skills training can improve several fitness and performance measures of institutionalised older people.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

An important finding from our study was that less than twice a week exercise training is not enough for functional improvement, while it proved difficult for the elderly subjects to exercise twice weekly. Education on the health benefits of regular exercise, and a larger availability of classes in long-term care facilities may improve attendance.

PMID:
16426800
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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