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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Mar;60(3):437-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03859.x. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Long-term effects of three multicomponent exercise interventions on physical performance and fall-related psychological outcomes in community-dwelling older adults: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Institut für Sportwissenschaft und Sport, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany. ellen.freiberger@sport.uni-erlangen.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the long-term effects of three strength and balance exercise interventions on physical performance, fall-related psychological outcomes, and falls in older people.

DESIGN:

A single-blinded, four-group, randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

Community, Germany.

PARTICIPANTS:

Community-dwelling adults aged 70 to 90 who had fallen in the past 6 months or reported fear of falling.

INTERVENTION:

After baseline assessment, 280 participants were randomly assigned to the control group (CG; no intervention; n = 80) or one of three strength and balance exercise interventions (the strength and balance group (SBG; strength and balance only; n = 63), the fitness group (FG; strength and balance plus endurance training; n = 64), or the multifaceted group (MG; strength and balance plus fall risk education; n = 73). The interventions consisted of 32 one-hour group sessions in 16 weeks.

MEASUREMENTS:

Data on physical performance, fall-related psychological outcomes, and falls were collected for 24 months.

RESULTS:

Mixed-effects regression analyses showed improved short- and long-term (12 and 24 months, respectively) physical performance for the SBG and FG, particularly regarding mobility, balance, and walking speed (P < .05). The improvements in physical performance outcomes were most prominent in the FG. Fall-related psychological outcomes, number of falls, and injurious falls were not significantly different from in the control group.

CONCLUSION:

Training focusing on strength, balance, and endurance can enhance physical performance for up to 24 months in community-dwelling older adults. These findings did not translate to improved fall-related psychological outcomes or reduced incidence of falls. This demonstrates the need for a different approach (e.g., regarding intervention dose and components) to gain intervention benefits in the multiple domains that contribute to independence and well-being in older adults.

© 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society.

PMID:
22324753
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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