Our objective was to assess the effects of targeted exercise programs on health-related quality of life compared with usual care based on the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory scores in geriatric institutionalized persons.
A randomized controlled trial of 2 exercise programs vs usual care was conducted in 160 institutionalized persons 65 years or older who were able to understand basic motor commands and to move from one position to another. Interventions were performed over 6 months and were either an adapted tai chi program (4 times 30 min/wk) or a cognition-action program (2 times 30-45 min/wk) that focused primarily on an adapted guidance of patient-centered communication skills. The control group received usual care. The study was conducted at 4 settings. The main outcomes were changes in health-related quality of life based on ADL and Neuropsychiatric Inventory scores after 12 months.
The control group experienced a decline in ADL over the 12-month period compared with the adapted tai chi and cognition-action groups, but the differences were not significant (P = .24 and P = .15, respectively). Also, the components of ADL, eg, ability to walk, continence, and nutrition, were maintained better in the intervention groups than in the control group. The total Neuropsychiatric Inventory score also worsened significantly in the control group, while it was unchanged or improved in the intervention groups. The differences between the cognition-action group and the control group were significant (P > .001). Neuropsychiatric diagnosis subgroups (such as dementia and psychosis) did not show a specific response from any intervention.
Adapted exercise programs can slow down the decline in health-related quality of life among heterogeneous, institutionalized elderly persons.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00623532