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Effectiveness of a low-threshold physical activity intervention in residential aged care – results of a randomized controlled trial

Authors Cichocki M, Quehenberger V, Zeiler M, Adamcik T, Manousek M, Stamm T, Krajic K

Received 16 December 2014

Accepted for publication 3 March 2015

Published 21 May 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 885—895


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Martin Cichocki,1 Viktoria Quehenberger,1 Michael Zeiler,1 Tanja Adamcik,1 Matthias Manousek,1 Tanja Stamm,2 Karl Krajic1

1Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Health Promotion Research, 2Medical University of Vienna & University of Applied Sciences FH Campus, Wien, Vienna, Austria

Purpose: Research on effectiveness of low-threshold mobility interventions that are viable for users of residential aged care is scarce. Low-threshold is defined as keeping demands on organizations (staff skills, costs) and participants (health status, discipline) rather low. The study explored the effectiveness of a multi-faceted, low-threshold physical activity program in three residential aged-care facilities in Austria. Main goals were enhancement of mobility by conducting a multi-faceted training program to foster occupational performance and thus improve different aspects of health-related quality of life (QoL).
Participants and methods: The program consisted of a weekly session of 60 minutes over a period of 20 weeks. A standardized assessment of mobility status and health-related QoL was applied before and after the intervention. A total of 222 of 276 participants completed the randomized controlled trial study (intervention group n=104, control group n=118; average age 84 years, 88% female).
Results: Subjective health status (EuroQoL-5 dimensions: P=0.001, d=0.36) improved significantly in the intervention group, and there were also positive trends in occupational performance (Canadian Occupational Performance Measure). No clear effects were found concerning the functional and cognitive measures applied.
Conclusion: Thus, the low-threshold approach turned out to be effective primarily on subjective health-related QoL. This outcome could be a useful asset for organizations offering low-threshold physical activity interventions.

Keywords: physical activity, intervention, residential aged care, effectiveness, aged

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