Effects of a 12-week community exercise programme on older people
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Effects of a 12-week community exercise programme on older people

Ricky Wallace Non-medical prescribing lead/research and development support, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust
Carolyn Lees Quality standards manager, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust
Massoumeh Minou Research associate, Swansea University
Diane Singleton Lead nurse for older people/Liveability service lead, Liveability service Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust
Gareth Stratton Professor of paediatric exercise sciences, Swansea University

Nurses should promote exercise to reduce patients’ social isolation and increase their independence, say Ricky Wallace and colleagues

Aim To measure the effectiveness of a 12-week exercise intervention in reducing the health risks associated with physical decline in people aged 60 and older.

Method An intervention group took part in a 12-week exercise programme. The intervention and comparison groups undertook the Senior Fitness Test at baseline, 12 weeks, six months and 12 months. Focus groups were conducted with the intervention and comparison groups at 12 weeks, then again with the intervention group after 12 months.

Results Fitness increased significantly (P>0.001) after 12 weeks of exercise in the intervention group. Results demonstrated significant difference between intervention and comparison groups’ fitness at six months (P>0.01) and 12 months (P>0.001) respectively. Focus groups supported the results, suggesting exercise increased independence and quality of life.

Conclusion Nurses can promote exercise in patients to reduce social isolation, increase independence and improve quality of life. The findings from this study may be useful during the development of community services for older adults.

Nursing Older People. 26, 1, 20-26. doi: 10.7748/nop2014.



Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 25 July 2013

Accepted: 11 October 2013