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

Individually tailored programs in a nursing home setting

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author A. Bergland - Oslo University College, Norway
  • K. Engedal - Oslo University College, Norway
  • K. Hellström - Oslo University College, Norway
  • K. Frändin - Oslo University College, Norway

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa058

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Bergland et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




A Norwegian research group in Oslo was invited by Kerstin Frändin to take part in the study ”Physical and daily activities for residents in a nursing home setting–a multi-center-study”. Objectives: To describe the impact of an individually tailored intervention program, in a nursing home setting, on physical capacity, dependence in Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and wellbeing.


Oslo recruited 56 persons who are randomized to either intervention (I) or control (C). Both groups are tested at baseline, after three months of intervention and finally after another three months. Muscle strength, walking (or wheelchair propulsion) speed, balance, ADL, wellbeing and cognitive function are used as outcome variables. There were no significant differences at the baseline regarding gender, age, physical capacity, dependences in ADL and wellbeing between I and C. An individual intervention program, designed by physical and occupational therapists in accordance with the goal of each participant, is formed. Examples of activities (intervention), performed by trained physical and occupational therapists are:

Evaluation of each subject leading to an individual goal setting and a training programme.
Training of transfers and walking ability, balance, muscle strength and endurance.
ADL-training: Personal care and dressing procedures, eating and socialising. Assistive devices are provided if needed.
Daily activities: Based on personal interests each client is being invited to participate in creative and/or entertaining activities like art, music, gardening, cooking and baking.


Baseline data from 56 subjects in Oslo (76,8% women), showed a mean stay at nursing home of 30 months (range 2-178 ) and a mean Mini Mental State Examination score (MMSE) of 23.6. Seventy-five percent could walk with or without walking aids. Seventy-one percent were able to stand up from a sited position without help. Men had a significant higher grip strength, lower age and lower score on the Functional Independence Measure(FIM) compared to women at baseline. No ceiling or floor effect of the instruments of muscle strength, walking, balance, ADL, wellbeing, or cognitive. We found a significant increased score of Berg’s Balance Scale and walking speed in the I-group after the intervention period compared with the C-group. No long-term was observed.


Data show a tendency of greater improvement and maintenance of function in the intervention group. It can be demonstrated, that individually tailored programs with the purpose to increase the level of physical and daily activities lead to a significant improvement of balance and walking. However no longterm effect was observed.