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Promoting ADL independence in vulnerable, community-dwelling older adults: a pilot RCT comparing 3-Step Workout for Life versus resistance exercise

Authors Liu C, Xu H, Keith NR, Clark DO

Received 10 March 2017

Accepted for publication 25 April 2017

Published 19 July 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1141—1149


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Chiung-ju Liu,1,2 Huiping Xu,3,4 NiCole R Keith,2,4,5 Daniel O Clark2,4,6

1Department of Occupational Therapy, Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, 2Indiana University Center for Aging Research, 3Department of Biostatistics, Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, 4Regenstrief Institute, Inc., 5Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, 6Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Background: Resistance exercise is effective to increase muscle strength for older adults; however, its effect on the outcome of activities of daily living is often limited. The purpose of this study was to examine whether 3-Step Workout for Life (which combines resistance exercise, functional exercise, and activities of daily living exercise) would be more beneficial than resistance exercise alone.
Methods: A single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted. Fifty-two inactive, community-dwelling older adults (mean age =73 years) with muscle weakness and difficulty in activities of daily living were randomized to receive 3-Step Workout for Life or resistance exercise only. Participants in the 3-Step Workout for Life Group performed functional movements and selected activities of daily living at home in addition to resistance exercise. Participants in the Resistance Exercise Only Group performed resistance exercise only. Both groups were comparable in exercise intensity (moderate), duration (50–60 minutes each time for 10 weeks), and frequency (three times a week). Assessment of Motor and Process Skills, a standard performance test on activities of daily living, was administered at baseline, postintervention, and 6 months after intervention completion.
Results: At postintervention, the 3-Step Workout for Life Group showed improvement on the outcome measure (mean change from baseline =0.29, P=0.02), but the improvement was not greater than the Resistance Exercise Only Group (group mean difference =0.24, P=0.13). However, the Resistance Exercise Only Group showed a significant decline (mean change from baseline =–0.25, P=0.01) 6 months after the intervention completion. Meanwhile, the superior effect of 3-Step Workout for Life was observed (group mean difference =0.37, P<0.01).
Conclusion: Compared to resistance exercise alone, 3-Step Workout for Life improves the performance of activities of daily living and attenuates the disablement process in older adults.

Keywords: activities of daily living, aging in place, resistance exercise, functional exercise, disablement process

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