Exercise in elderly proven to improve quality of life

July 05, 2007

Taiwan - July 05, 2007 -- 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.
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This study is published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Dr. Mau-Roung Lin is an affiliate of the Institute of Injury Prevention and Control, Taipei Medical University, in Taiwan and can be reached for questions at mrlin@tmu.edu.tw.

The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society is a comprehensive and reliable source of monthly research and information about common diseases and disorders of older adults.

For more information, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com/jgs.

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit association of geriatrics health care professionals, research scientists, and other concerned individuals dedicated to improving the health, independence and quality of life of all older people.

The AGS promotes high quality, comprehensive and accessible care for America's older population, including those who are chronically ill and disabled. The organization provides leadership to health care professionals, policy makers and the public by developing, implementing and advocating programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, please visit www.americangeriatrics.org.

Wiley-Blackwell was formed in February 2007 as a result of the merger between Blackwell Publishing Ltd. and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.'s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business. Together, the companies have created a global publishing business with deep strength in every major academic and professional field. Wiley-Blackwell publishes approximately 1,250 scholarly peer-reviewed journals and an extensive collection of books with global appeal. For more information on Wiley-Blackwell, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com or http://interscience.wiley.com.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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