Exercise In Elderly
Improves Quality Of Life
A new study appearing in the Journal of the American
Geriatrics Society compares the efficacy of three programs designed
for reducing falls and improving quality-of-life among the elderly;
education, home safety assessment and modification (HSAM) and
exercise training. The study also examines the secondary effects
of these programs on functional balance, daily activity, fear
of falling and depression level, finding that exercise training
yields the most significant improvements.
Participation in the study was open to people aged 65 years and
older who had required medical attention for a fall within the previous
four weeks. Participants were assigned to one of the three fall
prevention program groups, and quality of life was then assessed
according to the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life
guidelines, focusing on four domains; physical capacity, psychological
well-being, social relationships and environment.
Although all programs appeared to lead to some improvement in
quality of life, improvements were significantly greater in the
exercise training group. Exercise training participation also
led to improvements in functional reach, balance and fear of falling.
“The quality of life benefits reflect not just health states,
but also how patients perceive and value the health- and non-health-related
aspects of their conditions before and after receiving an intervention,”
says Dr. Mau-Roung Lin, co-author of the study. These measures
may therefore be beneficial for selecting interventions that are
of optimal value to older people.