Perceptions of participating in high-intensity functional exercise among older people dependent in activities of daily living (ADL)

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2013 Nov-Dec;57(3):369-76. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2013.05.003. Epub 2013 Jun 13.


The purpose of the study was to evaluate how older people, dependent in ADL perceive their participation in a high-intensity, functional exercise program compared to the perceptions of those participating in a control activity. Forty-eight older people living in residential care facilities answered a questionnaire about their perceptions of participating in an activity for three months. They were aged 65-98, had a mean score of 24 on Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and 14 on Barthel ADL Index. The participants had been randomized to exercise (n=20) or control activity (n=28). Differences in responses between exercise and control activity were evaluated using logistic and ordinal regression analyses. The results show that a majority of the exercise group perceived positive changes in lower limb strength, balance, and in the ability to move more safely and securely compared to a minority of the control group (p<0.001). Significantly more respondents in the exercise activity answered that they felt less tired due to the activity (p=0.027) and that they prioritized this activity above other activities (p=0.010). More exercise participants reported that meeting for three months was too short, and fewer that it was too long compared to the control group (p=0.038). This study shows that older people living in residential care facilities, dependent in ADL, and with mild or no cognitive impairment had positive perceptions about participating in high-intensity functional exercise. The findings support the use of a high-intensity exercise program in this population of older people.

Keywords: Exercise; Frail elderly; Perception; Residential facilities.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Aged / psychology*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Homes for the Aged / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN31631302