Older adults recently discharged from the hospital: effect of aerobic interval exercise on health-related quality of life, physical fitness, and physical activity

Therese Brovold, Dawn A. Skelton, Astrid Bergland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

ObjectivesTo compare the effect of high-intensity aerobic interval exercise (HIA) with home-based exercise (HB) in older adults with chronic disease soon after discharge from the hospital.
DesignRandomized controlled trial.
SettingHospital.
ParticipantsCommunity-dwelling older adults aged 70 to 92 (N = 115) were recruited while in the hospital. After discharge, they were randomized to HIA group (n = 59) or HB (n = 56).
InterventionHigh-intensity aerobic interval exercise (HIA) consisted of endurance, strength, and balance exercises. The HB consisted of low-intensity exercises and telephone follow-up from a physical therapist.
MeasurementsHealth-related quality of life (HRQOL) was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form Survey, physical fitness was measured using the Senior Fitness Test, and physical activity was assessed using the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly.
ResultsIntention-to-treat analysis showed that both groups improved their HRQOL and physical activity after 3 months. Improvements on the Senior Fitness Test (chair stand, arm curl and 6-minute walk (6MWT)) were significantly greater in the HIA group than the HB group. The mean difference was 25.9 m on the 6MWT (P = .001, effect size d = 0.2), 1.3 per 30 seconds on the chair stands mean (P = .001, effect size d = 0.3), and 1.6 per 30 seconds on the arm curl (P = .001, effect size d = 0.4).
ConclusionHigh-intensity aerobic interval exercise (HIA) participants significantly improved their physical fitness. Both groups increased their HRQOL and physical activity. The findings suggest that exercise therapy should be incorporated as a part of the treatment for older people at risk for functional decline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1580-1585
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume61
Issue number9
Early online date8 Aug 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • older adults
  • aerobic exercise
  • chronic disease

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