MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE
Volumen: 49, Numero: 5, Páginas: 544 pp.
PURPOSE: Previous studies showed that some older adults can carry out basic activities of daily living (BADL) independently, but with some difficulty generating daily problems in their community and their home. However, little is known about implement exercise programs in elderly population. The aim of this study was to investigat the effect of a physical exercise program on the level of independence in the elderly population. METHODS: This study involved a total of 52 elderly participants between 62 and 89 years of age (71.2% female) who attended to Comprehensive Care Center Senior Adult from Ecuador. Participants were randomized into a control group (CG, n=36) and experimental group (EG, n=36), which performed a physical exercise program (3 months; 3 days per week/45 minutes per session). The assessment to determine the level of independence was carried out through validated BARTHEL test which evaluated BADL with the following ranges of scores: 0-20=total dependence, 21-60=severe dependence, 61-90=moderate dependence, 91-99=little dependence, 100 = total independence. Data were recorded at baseline and 2-post-test (1st month during the intervention and in the end of the intervention period). A descriptive analysis of frequencies and percentages in order to determine the change of the range of independence was used for qualitative variables. A factorial ANOVA of repeated measures was applied to analyze the effects and interactions between the factors: study groups and measure moments on the Barthel test overall score (0?100). RESULTS: Experimental group showed trend towards to increase Barthel overall score (MD=11.77 ± 6.26; p=0.066) compared to the control group after intervention. Post-intervention, experimental group showed an increase of 15.4% of participants with total independence, whereas control group only increased 3.8%. CONCLUSIONS: A 3-months physical exercise program could improve the levels of independence in the elderly population; however, it could be necessary long-term interventions.