The effects of exercise on the quality of life of frail older adults: A preplanned meta-analysis of the FICSIT trials
- Cite this article as:
- Schechtman, K.B., Ory, M.G. & The FICSIT Group ann. behav. med. (2001) 23: 186. doi:10.1207/S15324796ABM2303_6
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The Frailty and Injuries: Cooperative Studies of Intervention Techniques (FICSIT) was a linked series of randomized clinical trials focused on the benefits of exercise in the frail elderly. This article uses covariate-adjusted preplanned meta-analyses of FICSIT data to evaluate the effect of exercise on quality of life (QOL) outcomes (N = 1,733; age = 73.4 ± 6.1 years). Results indicate that (a) exercise produced a small but significant improvement in the emotional health component of QOL, trended toward an improved social component, and did not effect perceptions of general health; (b) exercise-related joint and muscle stresses did not increase bodily pain; and (c) QOL improvements were independent of changes in physical functioning. We conclude that exercise can improve QOL in the frail elderly but that the magnitude of the improvement is modest in size. The benefits of a meta-analytical approach for documenting efficacy outcomes across different types of interventions are discussed.