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Stability of Kyphosis, Strength, and Physical Performance Gains 1 Year After a Group Exercise Program in Community-Dwelling Hyperkyphotic Older Women
To determine if subjects maintained improvements in kyphosis, spinal extensor strength, and physical performance 1 year after a 12-week multidimensional group exercise program. Follow-up data compared with posttest outcome measures. Outpatient academic medical center. Nineteen of the initial 21 women, ages 65 to 80, with thoracic kyphosis of 50 degrees or greater at the onset of the study completed follow-up testing. Initial intervention included multidimensional group exercise performed 2 times a week for 12 weeks, consisting of spinal extensor strengthening, flexibility exercises, and integrated spinal proprioception training. Subjects exercised independently during the following year. Primary measures at the 1-year follow-up were usual and best kyphosis. Secondary measures included spinal extensor strength, modified Physical Performance Test (PPT), and the Jug Test. Subjects maintained gains at the 1-year follow-up (P>.05). Best kyphosis improved by 3 degrees during the follow-up year (P=.022). There were no significant declines in usual kyphosis (P=.302), spinal extensor strength (P=.999), PPT (P=.087), and the Jug Test (P=.999) at follow-up. Hyperkyphotic women maintained gains in usual kyphosis, spinal extensor strength, and physical performance 1 year after a group exercise program. Improvement in best kyphosis in the year after the intervention was also observed. Detraining effects may be minimized by multidimensional exercises.