2009 Volume 28 Issue 3 Pages 115-122
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of home-based exercise without home visits on physical function, falls, and bone mineral density in community-dwelling elderly women. Sixty community-dwelling, elderly (≥65 years of age) women were recruited from a Japanese community. Subjects were randomly assigned to a home-based exercise group or a control group. The subjects assigned to the home-based exercise group performed home-based exercise without home visits 3 times per week for 6 months in their homes. Assessments of physical function and bone mineral density were carried out before and after intervention in both groups. Muscle strength, gait velocity, the timed up and go test (TUGT), single leg stance time, the bend reach performance test, and reaction time were measured to assess physical function. The patients' history of falls was also assessed before and after the 12-month follow-up. To determine bone mineral density, the speed of sound (SOS) at the right calcaneus was measured using a quantitative ultrasound device. There were no significant differences between the two groups in baseline characteristics. 82.6% of subjects completed the prescribed exercise program in the home-based exercise group. Compared to the control group, TUGT improved significantly (p<0.05) in the home-based exercise group. Home-based exercise without home visits can be adopted for community-dwelling elderly women, particularly since no specific place or instructor is needed.