The Effect of Functional Circuit Training on Physical Frailty in Frail Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Maria Giné-Garriga
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Míriam Guerra
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Esther Pagès
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Todd M. Manini
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Rosario Jiménez
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Viswanath B. Unnithan
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a 12-wk functional circuit-training program (FCT) could alter markers of physical frailty in a group of frail community-dwelling adults. Fifty-one individuals (31 women, 20 men), mean age (± SD) 84 (± 2.9) yr, met frailty criteria and were randomly assigned into groups (FCT = 26, control group [CG] = 25). FCT underwent a 12-wk exercise program. CG met once a week for health education meetings. Measures of physical frailty, function, strength, balance, and gait speed were assessed at Weeks 0, 12, and 36. Physical-frailty measures in FCT showed significant (p < .05) improvements relative to those in CG (Barthel Index at Weeks 0 and 36: 73.41 (± 2.35) and 77.0 (± 2.38) for the FCT and 70.79 (± 2.53) and 66.73 (± 2.73) for the CG. These data indicate that an FCT program is effective in improving measures of function and reducing physical frailty among frail older adults.

Giné-Garriga and Guerra are with the Dept. of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain. Pagès is with the Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain. Manini is with the Dept. of Aging and Geriatric Research, University of Florida, Gainesville FL. Jiménez is with Primary Health Care Vallcarca–Sant Gervasi, Barcelona, Spain. Unnithan is with the Sport Dept., Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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