Comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation increases the ability of people over 60 to live independently
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Institute of Rural Health in Lublin, Poland
Department of General and Neuro Rehabilitation, Institute of Rural Health in Lublin, Poland
The answer to current social and health needs of people aged over 60 are the multidirectional and carefully planned, comprehensive activation and rehabilitation activities carried out as part of Daycare Centres (DCC). The aim of creating and the functioning of DCCs deployed all over Poland is to improve the health and psychophysical fitness of this group of people. Health factors and psychophysical fitness determine the ability to live independently, both today, and later in life.

The objective of the study was to assess the impact of comprehensive ambulatory rehabilitation, including tailored endurance training preceded by an ergospirometry test, on indicators demonstrating the ability to live independently and the risk ratio of future health problems in the elderly.

Material and methods:
60 people participating in a rehabilitation cycle implemented as part of the services provided to patients aged over 60 in the DCC of the Witold Chodźko Institute of Rural Medicine (IMW) in Lublin comprised the sample. The tests were carried out in the test-retest model on the first and last day of the kinesiotherapy cycle. Patients were tested using standardized Barthel, I-ADL and VES-13 questionnaires. The rehabilitation programme applied included systemic kinesiotherapy (endurance training) with a load determined according to individual exercise capacity, determined on the basis of a ergospirometry test, and varied rehabilitation activities resulting from the condition of the locomotor system, as provided for under the project.

After completing the rehabilitation cycle, patients obtained higher results in comparison to the tests carried out before the beginning of the cycle in the Barthel index used to measure functional efficiency (Z = 5.41; p = 0.001), as well as lower in the I-ADL scale used to test the degree of dependence on the help of others when performing complex activities of everyday life (Z = 2.63; p = 0.009) and in VES-13 scale used to assess the risk of geriatric health problems (Z = 5.47; p = 0.001).

As the result of the use of comprehensive rehabilitation, including obligatory endurance training, desired changes were achieved in terms of fitness and independence in performing advanced daily activities and reducing the risk of geriatric health problems.

Magdalena Czarkowska   
Institute of Rural Health in Lublin, Poland, Jaczewskiego 2, 20-090, Lublin, Poland
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