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Chair-Based Exercise Interventions for Nursing Home Residents

November 25, 2020 - Despite mobility impairments, many residents in nursing homes have physical, cognitive, and psychosocial resources that should be promoted. A recent German study summarize the current evidence on chair-based exercise (CBE) interventions, such as Qigong, for nursing home residents.

Five electronic databases were searched (MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Central, and PsycINFO) from inception until July 2020. Title, abstract, and full-text screening as well as quality assessment with the Downs and Black checklist was done by 2 independent reviewers. Studies were eligible if they (1) were conducted in nursing home residents, (2) included participants with a mean age of 65 years, (3) had at least 1 treatment arm with seated exercises only, (4) included active or inactive controls, (5) measured outcomes related to physical and/or cognitive functioning and/or well-being, and (6) controlled studies or single-group pre-post design. Because of a heterogeneity in characteristics of included studies, we refrained from conducting a meta-analysis.

Studies differed in sample size (12-114) as well as in training type (multicomponent, Yoga/Qigong/breathing exercise, range of motion) and dose (frequency 2 sessions/week to daily, intensity low to moderate, time 20-60 minutes/session, 6 weeks to 6 months). Overall, CBE appears to be feasible and safe. Studies found task-specific improvements in physical and cognitive functions and enhanced well-being. Three studies demonstrated improved lower body performance following a multicomponent CBE program in mobile residents. Three studies only including residents unable to walk reported improved physical functions, indicating that immobile residents benefit from CBE programs. There was a lack of separating mobile and immobile residents in analyses.

The results indicate that CBE interventions may improve physical and cognitive functions as well as well-being in nursing home residents. Task-specific multicomponent CBE appears to be best for improving different domains of physical and cognitive functioning. More high-quality trials are needed.




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