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Can progressive resistance training twice a week improve mobility, muscle strength, and quality of life in very elderly nursing-home residents with impaired mobility? A pilot study

Authors Krist L, Dimeo F, Keil T

Received 28 December 2012

Accepted for publication 4 February 2013

Published 23 April 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 443—448


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Lilian Krist,1 Fernando Dimeo,2 Thomas Keil1,3

1Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, 2Department of Sports Medicine, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, 3Institute of Clinical Epidemiology and Biometry, University of Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Germany

Purpose: To determine the effects of progressive resistance training on mobility, muscle strength, and quality of life in nursing-home residents with impaired mobility.
Methods: Nursing-home residents aged 77 years and older with impaired mobility were recruited in Berlin, Germany. The eight-week exercise program consisted of progressive resistance training twice a week. Mobility (primary outcome) was assessed with the Elderly Mobility Scale (zero = worst, 20 = best) at baseline and after 8 weeks. Muscle strength (secondary outcome) was determined by the eight-repetition maximum. The Short Form-36 Health Survey was used to assess quality of life.
Results: Of the 15 participants (mean age 84 years, range 77–97 years), ten completed the 8-week program. Mobility (Elderly Mobility Scale mean ± standard deviation pre 14.1 ± 3.2 and post 17.5 ± 3.6; P = 0.005) as well as muscle strength of upper and lower limbs improved (from 62% at chest press up to 108% at leg extension machine), whereas most quality of life subscales did not show considerable change.
Conclusion: Resistance training twice a week over 2 months seemed to considerably improve mobility and muscle strength in persons aged 77–97 years with impaired mobility.

Keywords: elderly, resistance training, mobility, muscle strength, nursing home

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