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Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2017 Oct 13:1-12. doi: 10.1080/02701960.2017.1391802. [Epub ahead of print]

An innovative educational clinical experience promoting geriatric exercise.

Author information

1
a Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center , VA Medical Center , Durham , North Carolina USA.
2
b University of North Carolina School of Medicine , Chapel Hill , North Carolina USA.
3
c Center for the Study of Aging/Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center , Duke University Medical Center , Durham , North Carolina USA.
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d Department of Medicine , Duke University Medical Center , Durham , North Carolina USA.
5
e Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center , VA Healthcare System , Miami , Florida USA.
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f Division of Epidemiology, Division of Geriatric Medicine , University of Miami Miller School of Medicine , Miami , Florida USA.
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g Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center , Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System , Los Angeles , California USA.
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h David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California , Los Angeles, California USA.
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i Geriatric Research and Education Clinical Center , Baltimore VA Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland.
10
j Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine , University of Maryland School of Medicine and Geriatric Research and Education Clinical Center , Baltimore , Maryland USA.

Abstract

Formal educational training in physical activity promotion is relatively sparse throughout the medical education system. The authors describe an innovative clinical experience in physical activity directed at medical clinicians on a geriatrics rotation. The experience consists of a single 2 1/2 hour session, in which learners are partnered with geriatric patients engaged in a formal supervised exercise program. The learners are guided through an evidence-based exercise regimen tailored to functional status. This experience provides learners with an opportunity to interact with geriatric patients outside the hospital environment to counterbalance the typical geriatric rotation in which geriatric patients are often seen in clinics or hospitals. In this experience, learners are exposed to fit and engaged geriatric patients successfully living in the community despite chronic or disabling conditions. A survey of 105 learners highlighted positive responses to the experience, with 96% of survey respondents indicating that the experience increased their confidence in their ability to serve as advocates for physical activity for older adults, and 89.5% of responders to a follow-up survey indicating that the experience changed their perception of geriatric patients. Modifications to the experience, implemented at partnering facilities are described. The positive feedback from this experience warrants consideration for implementation in other settings.

KEYWORDS:

Counseling; Education; Exercise; Geriatrics

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