Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Exercise Interventions on Functional Status in Older Adults

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A meta-analysis was conducted to quantify the impact of exercise interventions on the functional status of older adults. Searches of Medline and CINAHL databases revealed 19 randomized controlled trials reporting 30 interventions (n =2,201). Fixed- and random-effects models were used to estimate overall mean effect sizes (ESs) for functional and physical performance outcomes and activities of daily living (ADL). Modest but statistically significant ESs were found for functional performance and physical performance but not for ADL. Exercise improved functional and physical performance but the improvement may be insufficient to have an impact on ADL. Further studies are needed to determine exercise's effects on ADL and to identify moderators associated with functional status outcomes in older adults.

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