Have you ever heard that exercise is good for you? Well, it turns out that it is especially important for older people who are sick and in the hospital.
A recent clinical trial has explored whether in-hospital exercise can help reduce the bad effects of hospitalization in elderly patients.
Effect of hospitalization on the elderly
Aging is associated with a decline in physical function, which may be further exacerbated during hospitalization. For very elderly patients, hospitalization can lead to functional decline, disability, and decreased quality of life.
This can result in a major social and financial burden on the community and hence, many efforts have been made over the years to arrest this process of deterioration.
To combat this decline, a clinical trial
was conducted to investigate the effect of exercise on functional decline in very elderly patients during acute hospitalization. The results of this clinical study were published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2019.
A clinical trial
was performed in a public hospital in Spain which recruited 370 patients aged 75 years or older who were admitted to the hospital for an acute medical illness. The patients were assigned to either an exercise group or a control group. The exercises included 2 daily sessions of resistance, balance, and walking exercises. The control group /usual care group received standard hospital care without exercise.
The clinical study found that the exercise group had better results compared to the group that did not exercise.
Only 45.2% of the exercise group experienced a functional decline compared to 52.8% of the control group.
Additionally, they were less likely to have problems with their thinking; felt better, stayed in the hospital for less time, and went back to the hospital less often.
The findings of this clinical research suggest that exercise during hospitalization can be beneficial for very elderly patients. The exercise program was effective in improving the physical function of the patients. The exercise program was safe, with no adverse events reported.
This clinical trial demonstrates the potential benefits of exercise in elderly hospitalized patients. The findings of this clinical research have important implications for the standard of care given to elderly patients in hospital settings. It emphasizes the need to add exercise plans in the management of older patients.