To examine the effectiveness of a novel intervention aimed at decreasing indices related to frailty through systematic, Progressive Functional Rehabilitation (PFR).
Pre-frail volunteers were recruited to participate in a 15 week exercise intervention or control group. Those who met study criteria and consented were randomized into one of three groups: control, seated exercise, or Wii®-fit. Test measures were completed before and after the 15 week intervention period on all participants. Measures included: Senior Fitness Test, Body Weight, Balance Efficacy Scale, CHAMPS, Late-Life Function and Disability Index, MOS SF-36. Attendance was also recorded.
There were improvements on several of the measures included in the Senior Fitness Test including chair stands, arm curls, step 2, six minute walk, sit and reach, and the timed up and go. A few participants did lose weight. All of the differences reflected improved physical functional status in the seated exercise or Wii-fit groups compared with the control group.
Increased physical activity was beneficial for all who participated. There were improvements in physical performance scores on several of the measures on the senior fitness test in both the seated exercise and Wii-fit groups. Participants in the Wii-fit group also showed improvement in their reported caloric expenditure and balance confidence.
This pilot study suggests a rehabilitation effect that was similar to the effect of community based senior fitness classes. A home video game console system with weight vest could be an effective alternative for pre-frail senior adults to group exercise classes.