Once a week not enough, twice a week not feasible? A randomised controlled exercise trial in long-term care facilities

M.J.M. Chin A Paw, van M.N. Poppel, J.W. Twisk, W. van Mechelen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of three different training protocols on physical function of older adults living in long-term care facilities. Emphasis was placed on feasibility in real-life situations. Methods: Subjects (N = 224) were randomised to 6 months of twice weekly (1) resistance training; (2) all-round functional-skills training; (3) a combination of both; or (4) a control program. Fitness and performance measures and self-reported disability were measured at baseline and after 24 weeks intervention. Results: Attendance to the strength training was 76%, to the functional-skills training 70% and to the combined training 73%. In those who attended at least 75% of all classes (n = 97) the functional-skills and combined training program improved several fitness and performance measures compared to the control group. Conclusion: Twice weekly functional-skills training, or a combination of resistance and functional-skills training can improve several fitness and performance measures of institutionalised older people. Practice implications: An important finding from our study was that less than twice a week exercise training is not enough for functional improvement, while it proved difficult for the elderly subjects to exercise twice weekly. Education on the health benefits of regular exercise, and a larger availability of classes in long-term care facilities may improve attendance. © 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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