Date of Award
P.M. van Wyk
At-home, Exercise, Fall prevention, Stroke, Upper limb
Chronic health conditions and sedentary behaviour are major public health concerns among older adults. The relationship between falls and upper limb strength becomes increasingly apparent among stroke survivors. In addition to helping prevent a fall from occurring, the upper limbs play a significant role in the performing activities of daily living and other meaningful tasks. However, fall prevention and stroke research focused on exercise and rehabilitation has primarily focused on lower-limb impairments. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine if a 12-week upper limb, virtual, at-home exercise intervention had an effect on falls self-efficacy and physical functioning on older adult, community-dwelling stroke survivors. Additionally, participants perceptions of participating in a virtual, at-home exercise program were examined. Seven participants (56-to-82 years) completed 12-weeks of upper limb, virtual at-home exercise, and an additional participant completed 11 weeks. Throughout the intervention, virtual weekly meetings were conducted with each participant to gauge the experience of the program, review exercise logs, and promote adherence to the program. Participants also completed the FES-I and SIS-16 at three time points: baseline, 10-week, and 12-week. A within-subjects repeated measures ANOVA was conducted for the FES-I, and a repeated measures MANOVA for the SIS-16. The questionnaires failed to produce statistically significant results. However, three overall themes emerged from the weekly meetings there were transcribed and coded: passage of time (progress made), interactions, and recommendations for moving forward. Overall, findings suggest that participating in a 12-week upper limb, virtual at-home exercise intervention can provide stroke survivors with physical and emotional benefits. In general, older adults who participated in this study enjoyed participating in an upper limb, virtual at-home exercise program via YouTube. However, future research should continue to examine the relationship between upper limb impairments and fall prevention.
Tetzlaff, Amanda, "The Effects of a 12-Week, Virtual, At-Home Upper Limb Training Program for Stroke Survivors on Falls Self-Efficacy and Physical Functioning" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 8778.