Authors:É Kovács, I Jónásné Sztruhár, L Mészáros, ZS Gyombolai, A Simon and V Farkas
Reduced functional mobility is a risk factor for falls. The Timed Up and Go test is a complex measurement tool for functional mobility. Our aims were to assess the functional mobility of: (a) community-living elderly who were participating in an exercise programme (n = 40; mean age = 73.7 years), (b) community-living elderly who were physically inactive (n = 40; mean age = 74.1 years), and (c) institutionalized elderly (n = 40; mean age = 73.5 years) and to compare the results with cut-off values for risk of fall.
Materials and methods
After measuring functional mobility, one-way independent ANOVAs and sample t-tests were used for analysis.
The functional mobility of the active participants was better than that of the inactive (p < .001) and institutionalized participants (p < .001). There was no significant difference between the inactive and institutionalized participants (p = .990). The functional mobility of the active participants was better, whereas the functional mobility of the inactive participants was worse than the cut-off value of 13.5 s for risk of fall for community-living elderly. The functional mobility of the institutionalized participants did not differ from the 15-s reference value for predicting risk of fall.
The results indicate that regular physical activity has a positive effect on maintaining functional mobility among both community-living and institutionalized elderly individuals.
Authors:R.L. Erdős, I. Jónásné Sztruhár, A. Simon and É. Kovács
Decline of the sensory and motor systems in older people negatively affects postural control. This increases the risk of falls, which is dangerous for older people in long-term care. Being aware of the quality of postural control and the factors affecting it among elderly people, is crucial in implementing an effective fall-prevention program. This study aimed to measure postural control and the demographic, health-related, and functional factors presumed to be correlated with it among nursing home residents. Another aim was to find valid screening tools based on these factors.
Materials and methods
Seventy one nursing home residents were included. Postural control was measured using the Berg Balance Scale. Grip strength, the 30-s chair stand test, and the Timed Up and Go test were used to measure global muscle strength, and functional mobility, respectively. The results of these functional tests were dichotomized using age-specific reference values.
Postural control was significantly worse in those who did not reach the age-specific reference values in any of the three functional tests. Effect sizes were large for functional mobility and medium for muscle strength. Multimorbidity and gender had no effect on postural control in our sample.
Among nursing home residents, postural control is related to functional mobility and muscle strength. Thus, routine testing of these skills among elderly people is an important task of the physiotherapist.
Authors:A Molnár, I Jónásné Sztruhár, ÁA Csontos, Cs Ferencz, Sz Várbíró and B Székács
Progressive loss of muscle mass and strength is a physiological consequence of aging, and without interventions, it usually deteriorates into sarcopenia. In this study, the hypothesis that combined special nutritional–physiotherapeutical intervention to prevent or reverse this biological deterioration in elderly people was tested. The effects of the regular resistance muscle training (PT, n = 17) alone and the combined exercise + special nutrition therapy containing whey protein and vitamin D (PT + NT, n = 17) were monitored for 3 months in 34 elderly patients (12 men and 22 women; mean age: 66.47 years) randomly distributed into two groups at a long-term care facility. Physical exercise alone did not result in significant improvement in skeletal muscle mass or strength, whereas combined intervention significantly increased the muscle strength (22.51 ± 2.35 vs. 24.54 ± 2.65, ± SEM, kg, p = 0.027). When therapeutic responses to the intervention were compared, a significant advantage of PT + NT over PT was found. The same trend was found when the non-significant post-therapeutic alterations (χ2 test) of the distribution of normal vs. pre-sarcopenic + sarcopenic conditions within the two groups were compared. Combined intervention (PT + NT) is necessary for the efficient protection of the musculature in the high-risk elderly patients.