Haritz Arrieta , Chloe Rezola-Pardo , Idoia Zarrazquin , Iñaki Echeverria , Jose Javier Yanguas, Miren Iturburu , Susana Maria Gil , Ana Rodriguez-Larrad , Jon Irazusta
Experimental Gerontology Volume 103, March 2018, Pages 94-100
To investigate the impact of a multicomponent exercise program on anthropometry, physical function, and physical activity on older adults living in long-term nursing homes (LTNH), we conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 112 participants aged 84.9 ± 6.9 years. Participants were randomly assigned to an intervention (IG) or control group (CG). The IG participated in a 3-month multicomponent exercise intervention focused on strength, balance, stretching exercises, and walking recommendations. Subjects in the CG participated in routine activities. Analyses of outcome parameters were performed in the entire sample and in two subgroups, classified according to participants’ physical function score at baseline. The group-by-time interaction, favoring the IG, was significant for the entire sample and for the participants in the low physical function subgroup for the following parameters: waist circumference, 30-s chair-stand, arm-curl, 8-ft timed up-and-go, SPPB score, gait speed, and Berg scale (p < .05). In participants with higher physical function at baseline, significant group-by-time interaction was observed in the SPPB score and Berg scale (p < .05). When differences were analyzed within groups, the IG maintained or improved in all assessed parameters, while participants in the CG showed a marked decline. Our study showed that a multicomponent exercise program is effective for older people living in LTNH. This is especially relevant in those with lower physical function scores. The lower efficacy of the program in participants with better function might be due to the insufficient exercise demands of our intervention for more fit residents. Future studies should analyze the effects of programs with higher intensities in older people with intermediate to high physical function.