Once a week not enough, twice a week not feasible? A randomised controlled exercise trial in long-term care facilities [ISRCTN87177281]

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of three different training protocols on physical function of older adults living in long-term care facilities. Emphasis was placed on feasibility in real-life situations.

METHODS: Subjects (N=224) were randomised to 6 months of twice weekly (1) resistance training; (2) all-round functional-skills training; (3) a combination of both; or (4) a control program. Fitness and performance measures and self-reported disability were measured at baseline and after 24 weeks intervention.

RESULTS: Attendance to the strength training was 76%, to the functional-skills training 70% and to the combined training 73%. In those who attended at least 75% of all classes (n=97) the functional-skills and combined training program improved several fitness and performance measures compared to the control group.

CONCLUSION: Twice weekly functional-skills training, or a combination of resistance and functional-skills training can improve several fitness and performance measures of institutionalised older people.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: An important finding from our study was that less than twice a week exercise training is not enough for functional improvement, while it proved difficult for the elderly subjects to exercise twice weekly. Education on the health benefits of regular exercise, and a larger availability of classes in long-term care facilities may improve attendance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-14
Number of pages10
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006

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