Effects of a thoracic mobility and respiratory exercise program on pulmonary function and functional capacity in older adults

Julie A. Ekstrum, Lisa L. Black, Karen A. Paschal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The purposes of this study were to describe a home exercise program (HEP) consisting of respiratory exercise and stretching thoracic muscles and to determine how regular participation in this program affected pulmonary function, chest wall excursion, physical function, and quality of life in community-dwelling older adults. Thirty-seven volunteers (mean age 80.5 years) participated in a twice daily HEP for 6 weeks. Twenty-two subjects completed the program. Pulmonary function, chest wall excursion (CWE), the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), the physical performance test (PPT), and RAND SF-36 quality of life survey (SF-36) were administered before and after the exercise program. Increases in CWE, 6MWT, and PPT were statistically significant. In conclusion, community-dwelling older adults participating in a 6-week stretching and respiratory exercise program demonstrated improved CWE and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-327
Number of pages18
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Gerontology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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