Objective: the aim of this study was to assess the effect of a 3-month strength-training programme on functional performance and self-rated health in a group of home-dwelling older hip fracture patients.
Design: randomised, controlled; single-blind parallel-group trial.
Setting: intervention at outpatient's clinic.
Subjects: one hundred and fifty patients with surgical fixation for a hip fracture.
Methods: strength training was integrated into all stages of the programme. The programme comprised four exercises, half of them in a standing position, performed at 80% of maximum. Measurements were taken after the 3-month intervention. The primary outcome measurement was the Berg Balance Scale (BBS). Secondary outcomes were results of the sit-to-stand test, Timed Up-and-Go test, maximal gait speed, 6-min walk test, Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living scale and the SF-12 health status questionnaire.
Results: at baseline, there were no significant between-group differences. At follow-up, the intervention group showed highly significant improvements both in the primary endpoint (BBS, mean difference 4.7 points) and in secondary endpoints of tapping strength, mobility and instrumental activities of daily living.
Conclusion: home-dwelling hip fracture patients can benefit from an extended supervised strength-training programme in a rehabilitation setting. These patients are capable of high-intensity strength training, which should optimise gains in physical function, strength and balance. Resistance exercise training seems to influence functional performance adaptation.