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The perceived feasibility and acceptability of a conceptually challenging exercise training program in older adults

Authors Miller CT, Teychenne M, Maple JL

Received 20 October 2017

Accepted for publication 23 December 2017

Published 22 March 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 451—461


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Clint T Miller,1 Megan Teychenne,2 Jaimie-Lee Maple2

1School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia; 2Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia

Background: Exercise training is an essential component of falls prevention strategies, but they do not fully address components of physical function that leads to falls. The training approaches to achieve this may not be perceived as appropriate or even feasible in older adults. This study aims to assess the perceived feasibility and acceptability of novel exercise training approaches not usually prescribed to older adults.
Patients and methods: Fourteen adults were exposed to conceptually and physically demanding exercises. Interviews were then conducted to determine perceptions and acceptability of individual exercise tasks. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to identify themes.
Results: Safety and confidence, acceptability, and population participation were the key themes identified. Staff knowledge, presence, program design, and overt safety equipment were important for alleviating initial apprehension. Although physically demanding, participants expressed satisfaction when challenged. Prior disposition, understanding the value, and the appeal of novel exercises were perceived to influence program engagement.
Conclusion: Given the evidence for acceptability, this type of training is feasible and may be appropriate as part of an exercise training program for older adults. Further research should be conducted to confirm that the physical adaptations to exercise training approaches as presented in this study occur in a similar manner to that observed in younger adults, and to also determine whether these adaptations lead to prolonged independence and reduced falls in older adults compared to usual care.

Keywords: falls, balance, qualitative analysis, thematic analysis, exercise/physical activity, power training, over-speed training

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