Many older adults who break a hip contend with physical limitations even after rehabilitation. According to researchers led by Nancy K. Latham, PhD, PT, of Boston University in Massachusetts, a home-based exercise program may offer a way to reduce those limitations and improve strength and mobility.
Latham’s study included 232 older adults who had completed rehabilitation following a hip fracture. A physical therapist taught about half of the group “functionally oriented” exercises. Subjects were then tasked with completing the exercises—which included moves like sit-to-stand and climbing a step—without supervision. Remaining participants did not perform any of the movements; however, they did receive in-home and phone-based “cardiovascular nutrition education.”
“Among the 232 randomized patients, 195 were followed up at 6 months and included in the primary analysis,” said the authors. “The intervention group (n = 100) showed significant improvement relative to the control group (n = 95) in functional mobility.”
The report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2014; 311, 700–708).