Electrical stimulation versus kinesitherapy in improving functional fitness in older women: A randomized controlled trial

Martina Anna Maggioni, Emiliano Cè, Susanna Rampichini, Marco Ferrario, Geremia Giordano, Arsenio Veicsteinas, Giampiero Merati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Long-stay hospitalized elderly patients frequently develop a decrease in strength, cardiovascular fitness and balance, which can be improved by exercise. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (ES) might also be effective in this population. The effect of different lower limb rehabilitation programs (3 interventions/week for 6 weeks) on functional fitness in 40 hospitalized old females (82 ± 7 years) were evaluated: kinesitherapy (KT), ES, KT alternated with ES (KT + ES), and no treatment (C). Outcome variables after rehabilitation were: (a) maximal strength of leg extensor and finger flexor muscles; (b) cardiorespiratory fitness (6-min walking test, 6MWT; heart rate, HR); (c) static and dynamic balance and gait skills (Tinetti test). The maximal strength of leg extensor (but not finger flexor) muscles significantly improved in ES (+26%) and KT + ES (+16%) groups only. The distance covered during the 6MWT significantly increased in KT (+15%), ES (+14%) and KT + ES (+9%) groups, but the post-test HR recovery improved in KT group only. Balance (but not gait) skill scores significantly and similarly increased in KT (+11%), ES (+10%) and KT + ES (+11%) groups. In long-stay hospitalized old females ES and KT + ES improved lower limbs isometric strength. Walking ability was improved by all treatments, whereas cardiovascular performance and recovery were ameliorated by KT only.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

Keywords

  • Elderly
  • Exercise
  • Physical fitness
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology

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