gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Training in residential geriatric care - first results of a multicenter evaluation

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author M. Brach - University of Bonn, Germany
  • M. Meier - University of Bonn, Germany
  • F. Nieder - German Sport University Cologne, Germany
  • H. Mechling - University of Bonn, Germany

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa061

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Veröffentlicht: 18. Dezember 2006

© 2006 Brach et al.
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Project background and strategy

In theory, physical activity is known to be most effective and least expensive to prevent from many health problems and to keep one's independence, especially in high age. Current offers, however, often fail to integrate individuals aged 80 years and over. The causes are multifaceted: the seniors are not able to attain to the location or to execute heavy or complex exercises, trainers are not educated adequately.

The 'Fit for 100' project is particularly oriented to the needs of very old persons, who are reliant on personal assistance. The emphasis is placed on the development of tailored functional and motivating exercise, and on the organization of the programme with the inclusion of local structures: The first aim is to initiate and to realise an exercise programme, the second aim is to lead the local groups into their independence, beyond the project duration.

The present contribution will focus on proper methods to evaluate sensorimotor and functional outcome, including first results of geriatric care residents from nine institutions in five representative regions of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).


The ongoing intervention is implemented two times a week and contains a 2 set, 10 repetition strength training with dumb-bells and ankle weights, supplemented by sensorimotor group exercises. Data are collected before intervention start and after 16, 32, and 48 weeks.

The first two records of 70 geriatric care residents from 2 pure dementia groups, 2 groups in ambulatory institutions, 2 part-stationary and 4 groups in stationary institutions, are analyzed.

Sensorimotor tests include a timed soda pop test (TSP, turning beverage cans), five timed chair stands (5CS), 10 second semi tandem balance stand (10SST), rotational (RF) and shoulder flexibility (SF). In addition, Mini mental state MMS, Barthel (BI) and IADL indices were collected.

First results and conclusions

Results are given as 'baseline (changes after 4 months)' for the 0.1-quantile, the mean, and the 0.9-quantile. The range of observations goes from slight positive changes [TSP 8.2 (-0.6), 15.8 (-1.8), 29.1 (-1.0) seconds] to clear positive changes [SF -42.9 (+3.8), -15.3 (+8.5), 11.3 (+7.0) cm]. Some changes seem to depend on the baseline value, as in 5TCS [11.8(-1.5), 22.2 (+ 0.1), 51.1 (-8.8)]. Conclusions on the utility of the motor tests should not be drawn until data collections are completed.

However, complex functional measures show consistent results by now: Barthel [30 (+6), 69.6 (+6.1), 100 (+0.0)] and IADL indices [0.0 (+1.0), 2,8 (+1.0), 8.0 (+0.0)] (n= 49), usually considered to reflect the need of care, show clear increases for persons who were not able to conduct all activities independently at baseline.

Without jumping to conclusions, these data legitimate the tremendous interest in 'Fit for 100' by the public and the scientific community.