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Volunteer-led physical activity interventions to improve health outcomes for community-dwelling older people: a systematic review

Volunteer-led physical activity interventions to improve health outcomes for community-dwelling older people: a systematic review
Volunteer-led physical activity interventions to improve health outcomes for community-dwelling older people: a systematic review
Background: physical activity (PA) is important for older people to maintain functional independence and healthy ageing. There is strong evidence to support the benefits of physical activity interventions on the health outcomes of older adults. Nonetheless, innovative approaches are needed to ensure that these interventions are practical and sustainable.

Aim: this systematic review explores the effectiveness of volunteer-led PA interventions in improving health outcomes for community-dwelling older people.

Methods: Five databases (MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PEDro, Cochrane library) were systematically searched for studies using trained volunteers to deliver PA interventions for community-dwelling older people aged ≥ 65 years. Meta-analysis was not conducted due to included study heterogeneity.

Results: twelve papers describing eight studies (five papers reported different outcomes from the same study) were included in the review. All eight studies included strength and balance exercises and frequency of PA ranged from weekly to three times a week. Volunteer-led exercises led to improvements in functional status measured using the short physical performance battery, timed up and go test, Barthel Index, single leg stand, step touch test, chair stand test, and functional reach. Frailty status identified by grip strength measurement or the use of long-term care insurance improved with volunteer-led exercises. Interventions led to improvement in fear of falls and maintained or improved quality of life. The impact on PA levels was mixed.

Conclusion: limited evidence suggests that volunteer-led PA interventions that include resistance exercise training, can improve outcomes of community-dwelling older adults including functional status, frailty status, and reduction in fear of falls.
Exercise, Health outcomes, Older adults, Physical activity, Volunteer
1594-0667
Lim, Stephen
dd2bfbd7-7f74-4365-b77e-9989f6408ddc
Cox, Natalie
ee547627-9048-46fe-ad0e-56846528f9b5
Tan, Qian Yue
d7fc366c-dc13-4e7e-b520-8ec88da54094
Ibrahim, Kinda
54f027ad-0599-4dd4-bdbf-b9307841a294
Roberts, Helen
5ea688b1-ef7a-4173-9da0-26290e18f253
Lim, Stephen
dd2bfbd7-7f74-4365-b77e-9989f6408ddc
Cox, Natalie
ee547627-9048-46fe-ad0e-56846528f9b5
Tan, Qian Yue
d7fc366c-dc13-4e7e-b520-8ec88da54094
Ibrahim, Kinda
54f027ad-0599-4dd4-bdbf-b9307841a294
Roberts, Helen
5ea688b1-ef7a-4173-9da0-26290e18f253

Lim, Stephen, Cox, Natalie, Tan, Qian Yue, Ibrahim, Kinda and Roberts, Helen (2020) Volunteer-led physical activity interventions to improve health outcomes for community-dwelling older people: a systematic review. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. (doi:10.1007/s40520-020-01556-6).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: physical activity (PA) is important for older people to maintain functional independence and healthy ageing. There is strong evidence to support the benefits of physical activity interventions on the health outcomes of older adults. Nonetheless, innovative approaches are needed to ensure that these interventions are practical and sustainable.

Aim: this systematic review explores the effectiveness of volunteer-led PA interventions in improving health outcomes for community-dwelling older people.

Methods: Five databases (MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PEDro, Cochrane library) were systematically searched for studies using trained volunteers to deliver PA interventions for community-dwelling older people aged ≥ 65 years. Meta-analysis was not conducted due to included study heterogeneity.

Results: twelve papers describing eight studies (five papers reported different outcomes from the same study) were included in the review. All eight studies included strength and balance exercises and frequency of PA ranged from weekly to three times a week. Volunteer-led exercises led to improvements in functional status measured using the short physical performance battery, timed up and go test, Barthel Index, single leg stand, step touch test, chair stand test, and functional reach. Frailty status identified by grip strength measurement or the use of long-term care insurance improved with volunteer-led exercises. Interventions led to improvement in fear of falls and maintained or improved quality of life. The impact on PA levels was mixed.

Conclusion: limited evidence suggests that volunteer-led PA interventions that include resistance exercise training, can improve outcomes of community-dwelling older adults including functional status, frailty status, and reduction in fear of falls.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 4 April 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 30 April 2020
Keywords: Exercise, Health outcomes, Older adults, Physical activity, Volunteer

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439369
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439369
ISSN: 1594-0667
PURE UUID: a9b43798-d80c-4f4c-8847-54f4f900dbc8
ORCID for Stephen Lim: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2496-2362
ORCID for Kinda Ibrahim: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5709-3867
ORCID for Helen Roberts: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5291-1880

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Date deposited: 20 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 05:13

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Contributors

Author: Stephen Lim ORCID iD
Author: Natalie Cox
Author: Qian Yue Tan
Author: Kinda Ibrahim ORCID iD
Author: Helen Roberts ORCID iD

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