Background: Exercise can help the elderly stay healthy, and it also can prevent falls and decrease disability induced through aging and chronic disease. The level of exercise interventions was different due to aging between young-old and old-old elderly.
Objectives: To assess the effects of multiple exercise interventions on gait function in community-dwelling young-old (under 75 years old) and old-old (over 75 years old) elderly.
Methods: We searched the following databases from inception to March 2016: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) on the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Index to Taiwan Periodical Literature System, Airiti Library, Taiwan Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations. We applied no language restrictions. We included randomized control trials that recruited community-dwelling elderly and were not restricted to any specific disease (e.g. diabetes, stroke). We also evaluated multiple exercise interventions compared with no intervention or a non-exercise intervention (e.g. regular activity), and those that measured gait and balance. Each study was appraised by two independent reviewers and assigned a level of evidence based on the modiﬁed OCEBM (Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine) (2011) levels of classification, and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool, CASP, was used. Extracted data were entered and analyzed using Review Manager 5.3.
Results: Eighteen studies were reviewed with 1802 participants. We found in the meta-analysis that through the multiple exercise intervention for the community-dwelling young-old elderly (SMD -0.87 favoring exercise, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.79 to -0.54) and old-old elderly (SMD -1.56 favoring exercise, 95% confidence interval (CI) -2.82 to -0.03) gait can be improved.
Conclusions: This meta-analysis found that the multiple exercise intervention brought significant improvement in gait for both young-old and old-old elderly. Therefore, we also recommended arranging diverse forms of exercise for the community-dwelling elderly, that can promote gait function, reduce falls and the aging process.