Get access

A Community-Based Fitness and Mobility Exercise Program for Older Adults with Chronic Stroke: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Authors

  • Marco Y. C. Pang PhD,

    1. From the *School of Rehabilitation Sciences, §Department of Orthopedics/Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaRehabilitation Research LaboratoryAcquired Brain Injury Program, GF Strong Center, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Janice J. Eng PhD,

    1. From the *School of Rehabilitation Sciences, §Department of Orthopedics/Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaRehabilitation Research LaboratoryAcquired Brain Injury Program, GF Strong Center, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Andrew S. Dawson MD,

    1. From the *School of Rehabilitation Sciences, §Department of Orthopedics/Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaRehabilitation Research LaboratoryAcquired Brain Injury Program, GF Strong Center, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Heather A. McKay PhD,

    1. From the *School of Rehabilitation Sciences, §Department of Orthopedics/Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaRehabilitation Research LaboratoryAcquired Brain Injury Program, GF Strong Center, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jocelyn E. Harris MSc

    1. From the *School of Rehabilitation Sciences, §Department of Orthopedics/Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaRehabilitation Research LaboratoryAcquired Brain Injury Program, GF Strong Center, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Marco Y. C. Pang was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. This study was supported by a grant-in-aid from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick and from career scientist awards from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (JJE) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (JJE and HAM).

  • The findings of this study were presented at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting 2005, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 25–26, 2005.

Address correspondence to Janice J. Eng, T325-2211 Wesbrook Mall, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 2B5. E-mail: janice.eng@vch.ca

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the effects of a community-based group exercise program for older individuals with chronic stroke.

Design: Prospective, single-blind, randomized, controlled intervention trial.

Setting: Intervention was community-based. Data collection was performed in a research laboratory located in a rehabilitation hospital.

Participants: Sixty-three older individuals (aged≥50) with chronic stroke (poststroke duration≥1 year) who were living in the community.

Intervention: Participants were randomized into intervention group (n=32) or control group (n=31). The intervention group underwent a fitness and mobility exercise (FAME) program designed to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, mobility, leg muscle strength, balance, and hip bone mineral density (BMD) (1-hour sessions, three sessions/week, for 19 weeks). The control group underwent a seated upper extremity program.

Measurements: Cardiorespiratory fitness (maximal oxygen consumption), mobility (6-minute walk test), leg muscle strength (isometric knee extension), balance (Berg Balance Scale), activity and participation (Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities), and femoral neck BMD (using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry).

Results: The intervention group had significantly more gains in cardiorespiratory fitness, mobility, and paretic leg muscle strength than controls. Femoral neck BMD of the paretic leg was maintained in the intervention group, whereas a significant decline of the same occurred in controls. There was no significant time-by-group interaction for balance, activity and participation, nonparetic leg muscle strength, or nonparetic femoral neck BMD.

Conclusion: The FAME program is feasible and beneficial for improving some of the secondary complications resulting from physical inactivity in older adults living with stroke. It may serve as a good model of a community-based fitness program for preventing secondary diseases in older adults living with chronic conditions.

Ancillary