Given the growing number of nursing home residents with Alzheimer's diseases, cost effective interventions that can reduce or delay their need for assistance with mobility and self-care activities of daily living are sorely needed. There is increasing evidence that exercise may represent such an intervention. The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of 1) a comprehensive exercise program to build strength, flexibility, balance and endurance that is specifically designed for this population 2) a more commonly used supervised walking program and 3) attention control in a 3 group repeated measures experimental design with random selection and random assignment to treatment. One hundred twenty deconditioned resignets with a confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease will be selected fromt he impatient units of three nursing homes. Residents entered into the study will received treatment 5 times a week for 16 weeks. Data on their physical performance and the degree of assistance they require in mobility-related and self-care ADL's will be collected at pretest and post-test. Multivariate and univeriate repeated measures analysis of variance will be used to determine the impact of the intervention. It is hypothesized that the deconditioned nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease who participate in the comprehensive exercise program will demonstrate greater improvement in physical performance, mobility-related activities of daily living (ADL's) and self-care ADL's than those in the walking group who, in turn, will demonstrate greater improvement than those in the attention control. A low cost intervention such as the one proposed that reduces excess disability and maintains residents at their highest possible level of function would not only increase their quality of life but also reduce the cost of their care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Research Project (R01)
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Application #
Study Section
Nursing Research Study Section (NURS)
Program Officer
Helmers, Karin F
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Florida Atlantic University
Schools of Nursing
Boca Raton
United States
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