An Exercise Program for Community Dwelling Elders in Taiwan

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tzu-Chun Chen, MA1
Su-Hsien Chang, PhD, RN, MSN2
Wen-Chen Lee, MS2
(1)Department of Health, Tainan Hospital, Tainan City, Taiwan
(2)Department of Eldercare, National Tainan Institute of Nursing, Tainan City, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to design health promotion program for community dowelling elders.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to apply a theory-based exercise program for community dowelling elders.

The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a theory-based exercise program aimed at improving physical fitness among community dowelling elders in Taiwan. This is a single group, pre-post test study. Fifty community dowelling elders were recruited from a community located in southern Taiwan. Subjects received 50 minutes, twice/week exercise program for 10 weeks. The exercise program was developed based on Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory. Activities of the exercise program included performance accomplishment, vicarious experiences, and verbal persuasion. Strategies used to recognize the performance accomplishment included: 1) a leader of exercise program and elders exercise together for twice/week, and 2) a leader of exercise program provided a positive feedback if elders perform continue exercise. Strategies for vicarious experiences included: having staff and resident observe and discuss another resident’s success in enhancing a self-care activity. Strategy of verbal persuasion was: staff provide verbal encouragement for efforts to do self-care activities. Results of the study showed that there were statistical significant improved in single left leg and right leg standing with eyes opened, lower body strength, and exercise self-efficacy (p < 0.05). The left and right shoulders extension (degree), get-up-and-go (seconds), functional reach (cm), and sleep quality showed not statistical improved (p > 0.05). In conclusion, the results of this study provide important information for health promotion designer to plan exercise program for community dowelling elders.

 Key words: exercise, elders, community