Feasibility, Acceptability and Effects of a Home-Based Exercise Program Using a Gerontechnology on Physical Capacities After a Minor Injury in Community-Living Older Adults: A Pilot Study

Abstract

Context

Several studies have demonstrated that physical activity can help limit decline in functional capacities of older adults. Nevertheless, many adults aged 65 and over are inactive.

Objective

To explore the feasibility, the acceptability and the effects of a home-based exercise program (HEP) using a motion capture gerontechnology in independent community-living older adults at risk of function decline.

Design

Interventionnal clinical trial.

Participants

Sixteen previously independent individuals aged 65 and older recruited at the Emergency Department after being treated for a minor injury and discharged home were assigned to a home-based exercise program group (HEP=8) or to a control group (CONTR=8). Twelve participants completed the study, 6 in each group

Setting

Canadian Community-dwelling in Montreal area.

Intervention

The HEP group engaged in a twelve-week physical activity intervention using a gerontechnology while the CONTR group continued with discharge plan from ED.

Measurements

Participants were evaluated for functional status using validated questionnaires and objective physical measures at baseline, three and six months later. Feasibility and acceptability of the HEP was assessed using data reports from the gerontechnology and from self-reported assessments.

Results

There was no differences between groups at baseline except for the fallrelated self-efficacy: HEP=8.33/28±1.51 vs CONTR=7/28±0 p=0.022. The HEP was found to be feasible and acceptable (adherence rate at 86% and average quality of movements at 87.5%). Significant improvement in walking speed on 4m was observed three months after baseline for HEP vs CONTR group (+0.25 vs +0.05 m/sec, p=0.025). Effects remained at follow-up. Only CONTR group resulted in a significant increase in SF-36 global score.

Conclusion

This twelve-week HEP intervention using the Jintronix® gerontechnology is feasible, acceptable and safe for community-living older adults who sustained a minor injury. This intervention could increase walking speed, the most important predictor of adverse events in the elderly population, and that the improvement could be maintained over time.

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Correspondence to Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre.

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Lauzé, M., Martel, D.D., Agnoux, A. et al. Feasibility, Acceptability and Effects of a Home-Based Exercise Program Using a Gerontechnology on Physical Capacities After a Minor Injury in Community-Living Older Adults: A Pilot Study. J Nutr Health Aging 22, 16–25 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-017-0938-8

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Key words

  • Gerontechnology
  • exergames
  • physical activity
  • home-based exercise program
  • functional capacities