Comparing the effects of a home-based exercise program using a gerontechnology to a community-based group exercise program on functional capacities in older adults after a minor injury

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Abstract

Introduction:

Functional decline has been observed three to six months after a minor injury in previously independent older adults. Physical activity interventions are effective to prevent this decline but most of those older adults are not active. In fact, home-based and community-based exercise program present barriers for this population (e.g. lack of supervision, transport and predetermined schedule. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of a home-based physical activity intervention using gerontechnology in older adults who sustained minor injuries by comparing it to a traditional community-based group intervention.

Method:

48 previously independent individuals, aged 65 and older, discharged back home after consulting an Emergency Department to treat minor injuries were randomized into three groups 1) home-based exercise program using gerontechnology (HEPtech=18) 2) supervised group community-based exercise program (YMCA=16) or 3) control group (CONT=12). Functional capacities and other physical outcomes were compared across groups after three months of intervention.

Results:

Both intervention groups showed improved functional capacities (e.g. SPPB, Walking speed, Balance) after three months of physical activity intervention compared to control group who only maintain theirs.

Conclusion:

This new home-based exercise intervention using gerontechnology could be a good alternative for health professionals who wish to help their older adults patients with minor injuries engage in exercise program in order to prevent functional losses.

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