Telemed J E Health. 2022 Nov 10. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0175. Online ahead of print.
Background: Literature on telehealth interventions for older adults has been primarily on asynchronous interventions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, older adult exercise programs transitioned to an online format. This systematic review and case study examines the effectiveness of older adult live video exercise group interventions on physical health with insights from a Los Angeles VA program, Gerofit. Methods: PubMed was searched for live video older adult exercise groups from database inception to November 2021. All eligible studies included assessments of physical health and were limited to participants with an average age of 65 years or greater. Ten Veterans, who had participated in both in-person and virtual Gerofit sessions, were surveyed in the case study. Results: Nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Four studies included an equivalent in-person group as a comparator to the live video group and reported no significant between-group differences in outcomes, including energy expenditure and 6-minute walking distance test (6MWD). The other five studies reported statistically significant in-group improvement in outcomes including isokinetic knee strength. Case study participants reported similar attendance rates and perceived benefits, such as improved balance, when comparing virtual and in-person sessions. Discussion: Live video exercise groups in older adults demonstrated an improvement in physical function that was not statistically different from the comparison in-person sessions with the added benefit of averaging a higher attendance rate, providing initial support for the use of live video in older adult exercise programs. Insights from the case study supplement this by demonstrating older adults' positive attitude on these groups.
PMID:36355076 | DOI:10.1089/tmj.2022.0175
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