Aim: to determine the effectiveness of a physical therapy program for the elderly with sarcopenic obesity in terms of the kinesiophobia and physical functioning parameters.
Materials and methods: We examined 106 elderly people, who were divided into 3 groups. The control group consisted of individuals with normal body weight and they had no sarcopenia. The main group 1 consisted of individuals with sarcopenic obesity and a weak therapeutic alliance; they were given general recommendations for modifying the diet and expanding physical activity. The main group 2 included patients with a strong therapeutic alliance. A one-year physical therapy program with the use of kinesitherapy, massage, dietary intervention, patient education, the elements of cognitive training and occupation therapy was developed for them. The dynamics were assessed by Tampa Kinesiophobia Scale, Fullerton Fitness Test, Edmonton Frail Scale.
Results: Elderly people with sarcopenic obesity have a high level of kinesiophobia (Tampa Kinesiophobia Scale), their physical status (coordination, balance, strength, flexibility, endurance, agility) significantly lags behind that of their peers (Fullerton Fitness Test), they suffer from the frailty (Edmonton Frail Scale). After applying the developed physical therapy program, it was possible to state that the individuals of the main group 2 showed a statistically significant (p <0.05) improvement in their physical functioning parameters relative to the indicators of their peers and initial parameters, a reduction in the frailty, decreasing in the level of kinesiophobia. The low level of the therapeutic alliance, despite the awareness of the negative consequences for the health, led to unsatisfactory implementation or non-implementation of the recommendations provided for the elderly with sarcopenic obesity and was associated with no improvement in the physical status, signs of frailty, kinesiophobia.
Conclusions: The developed physical therapy program for elderly patients with sarcopenic obesity against a background of a high level of the therapeutic alliance showed a statistically significant improvement in all studied indicators of kinesiophobia and physical functioning parameters compared to the initial level and the indicators of people with low levels of the therapeutic alliance.
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