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Lorraine J. Phillips and Marcia Flesner

This qualitative study investigated individual and situational factors influencing physical activity (PA) practices of elders in residential-care/assisted-living (RC/ AL) communities. This article describes the results of focus-group interviews involving 47 residents across 6 RC/AL settings. Thematic analysis revealed 6 themes: staying active, past PA experiences, value of PA, barriers to PA, strategies to facilitate PA, and support needs to promote PA. Staying active meant walking indoors and out, attending chair-exercise programs, performing professionally prescribed home exercises, and using available exercise equipment. Past PA experiences shaped current preferences and practices. Participants agreed that exercise helped maintain physical functioning but recounted cognitive and situational barriers to PA. Lack of dedicated exercise space and short corridors hampered efforts to stay active. Participants wished for individualized home exercise programs and supervised exercise sessions. Future research should examine the extent to which the physical environment and PA programming in RC/AL communities affect elders’ PA.

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Jo-Ana D. Chase, Lorraine J. Phillips and Marybeth Brown

The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the effects of supervised resistance and/or aerobic training physical activity interventions on performance-based measures of physical functioning among community-dwelling older adults, and to identify factors impacting intervention effectiveness. Diverse search strategies were used to identify eligible studies. Standardized mean difference effect sizes (d, ES) were synthesized using a random effects model. Moderator analyses were conducted using subgroup analyses and meta-regression. Twenty-eight studies were included. Moderator analyses were limited by inconsistent reporting of sample and intervention characteristics. The overall mean ES was 0.45 (k = 38, p ≤ .01), representing a clinically meaningful reduction of 0.92 s in the Timed Up and Go for treatment versus control. More minutes per week (p < .01) and longer intervention session duration (p < .01) were associated with larger effects. Interventions were especially effective among frail participants (d = 1.09). Future research should clearly describe sample and intervention characteristics and incorporate frail populations.