BACKGROUND: Evidence is still insufficient regarding the effects of Power Rehabilitation (PR) on physical performance and higher-level functional capacity of community-dwelling frail elderly people.
METHODS: This nonrandomized controlled interventional trial consisted of 46 community-dwelling elderly individuals with light levels of long-term care needs. They were allocated to the intervention (I-group, n = 24) and control (C-group, n = 22) groups. Of them, 32 persons (17 in the I-group; 15 in the C-group) (median age, 77 years; sex, 28% male) completed the study. The I-group subjects underwent PR twice a week for 12 weeks. The outcomes were physical performance (muscle strength, balance, flexibility, and mobility) and higher-level functional capacity as evaluated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence (TMIG-IC) and the level of long-term care need as certified by the public long-term care insurance.
RESULTS: The I-group demonstrated a significant improvement in the measured value of the timed up-and-go test (median change, a decrease of 4.4 seconds versus a decrease of 0.2 seconds, p = 0.033) and the timed 10-meter walk (a decrease of 3.0 seconds versus an increase of 0.2 seconds, p = 0.007) in comparison with the C-group. No significant change was observed in the TMIG-IC scores or in the level of long-term care need in the I-group.
CONCLUSION: PR improved mobility of community-dwelling frail elderly people; however, such improvement did not translate into higher-level functional capacity. Our findings demonstrate the difficulty in transferring the positive effects associated with PR into an improvement in higher-level functional capacity.
J Epidemiol 2007; 17: 61- 67.
2007 by Japan Epidemiological Association