Effects of a Multicomponent Exercise Program on Functional Ability in Community-Dwelling, Frail Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a multicomponent exercise program on basic daily functions and muscle strength in community-dwelling frail older people. The randomized, controlled study comprised 46 community-dwelling frail older people (above 74 years of age and not able to leave their home without mobility aids). For 12 weeks the intervention group (n = 22) was transported to 2 class-based exercise sessions each week. Assessment of physical function was obtained using Berg's Balance Scale and a walking test. Self-reported functional ability was assessed through SF-36. Maximal oxygen uptake and maximal voluntary contraction of the shoulders' abductors were measured. The intervention group had a significant improvement in balance, muscle strength, walking function, and self-assessed functional ability compared with the control group. This study demonstrates that multicomponent exercise has a significant effect on basic daily functions and muscle strength in community-dwelling frail older people and might improve their ability to live an independent life.

Worm, Vad, Støvring, and Kragstrup are with the Research Unit of General Practice al the University of Southern Denmark. 5000 Odense C, Denmark. Puggaard is with the Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechantcs at the University of Southern Denmark. Lauritsen is with Funen County.