Should physical activity programs be tailored when older adults have compromised function?
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine whether a walking program supplemented by tasks designed to challenge balance and mobility (WALK+) could improve physical function more than a traditional walking program (WALK) in older adults at risk for mobility disability. 31 community-dwelling older adults (M +/- SD age = 76 +/- 5 yr; Short Physical Performance Battery [SPPB] score = 8.4 +/- 1.7) were randomized to treatment. Both interventions were 18 sessions (1 hr, 3x/wk) and progressive in intensity and duration. Physical function was assessed using the SPPB and the 400-m-walk time. A subset of participants in the WALK group who had relatively lower baseline function showed only small improvement in their SPPB scores after the intervention (0.3 +/- 0.5), whereas a subset of participants in the WALK+ group with low baseline function showed substantial improvement in their SPPB scores (2.2 +/- 0.7). These preliminary data underscore the potential importance of tailoring interventions for older adults based on baseline levels of physical function.
Article: Designing clinical trials for assessing the effects of cognitive training and physical activity interventions on cognitive outcomes: the Seniors Health and Activity Research Program Pilot (SHARP-P) study, a randomized controlled trial.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The efficacy of non-pharmacological intervention approaches such as physical activity, strength, and cognitive training for improving brain health has not been established. Before definitive trials are mounted, important design questions on participation/adherence, training and interventions effects must be answered to more fully inform a full-scale trial. SHARP-P was a single-blinded randomized controlled pilot trial of a 4-month physical activity training intervention (PA) and/or cognitive training intervention (CT) in a 2 × 2 factorial design with a health education control condition in 73 community-dwelling persons, aged 70-85 years, who were at risk for cognitive decline but did not have mild cognitive impairment. Intervention attendance rates were higher in the CT and PACT groups: CT: 96%, PA: 76%, PACT: 90% (p=0.004), the interventions produced marked changes in cognitive and physical performance measures (p≤0.05), and retention rates exceeded 90%. There were no statistically significant differences in 4-month changes in composite scores of cognitive, executive, and episodic memory function among arms. Four-month improvements in the composite measure increased with age among participants assigned to physical activity training but decreased with age for other participants (intervention*age interaction p=0.01). Depending on the choice of outcome, two-armed full-scale trials may require fewer than 1,000 participants (continuous outcome) or 2,000 participants (categorical outcome). Good levels of participation, adherence, and retention appear to be achievable for participants through age 85 years. Care should be taken to ensure that an attention control condition does not attenuate intervention effects. Depending on the choice of outcome measures, the necessary sample sizes to conduct four-year trials appear to be feasible. Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00688155.BMC Geriatrics 05/2011; 11:27. · 2.34 Impact Factor
Article: Physical activity among persons aging with mobility disabilities: shaping a research agenda.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: With the aging of the baby boomer population and their accompanying burden of disease, future disability rates are expected to increase. This paper summarizes the state of the evidence regarding physical activity and aging for individuals with mobility disability and proposes a healthy aging research agenda for this population. Using a previously published framework, we present evidence in order to compile research recommendations in four areas focusing on older adults with mobility disability: (1) prevalence of physical activity, (2) health benefits of physical activity, (3) correlates of physical activity participation, and, (4) promising physical activity intervention strategies. Overall, findings show a dearth of research examining physical activity health benefits, correlates (demographic, psychological, social, and built environment), and interventions among persons aging with mobility disability. Further research is warranted.Journal of aging research 01/2011; 2011:708510.