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“We want more”: perspectives of sarcopenic older women on the feasibility of high-intensity progressive resistance exercises and a whey-protein nutrition intervention.

Vijayakumaran, R. K., Daly, R. M. and Tan, V. P. S., 2023. “We want more”: perspectives of sarcopenic older women on the feasibility of high-intensity progressive resistance exercises and a whey-protein nutrition intervention. Frontiers in Nutrition, 10, 1176523.

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fnut-10-1176523.pdf - Published Version
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DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1176523


This qualitative study is nested within a 12-week pilot randomized-controlled, two-arm trial involving high-intensity progressive resistance training (PRT) or PRT with a multi-nutrient, whey-protein supplementation (PRT+WP) in sarcopenic older adults (trial registration no: TCTR20230703001). The aim was to investigate sarcopenic participants' perceptions and barriers to this multi-modal intervention strategy that may accelerate “real-world” implementation. Eighteen older adults (one man) with possible sarcopenia were invited to join the study, of whom 16 women were randomized to a thrice-weekly PRT (n = 8) program (80% of 1-repetitive maximum, six resistance band exercises) only or PRT plus daily weekday milk-based WP supplementation (PRT+WP, n = 8). Muscle strength (handgrip and 5-times sit-to-stand), mass (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), performance (Short Physical Performance Battery and stair ascent-descent), and nutrition status (Mini Nutritional Assessment) were assessed for changes. We randomly selected eight women for the semi-structured interview. Post-intervention, eight (50%) women were sarcopenia-free, six (38%) remained in possible sarcopenia, one (6%) improved to sarcopenia, and one (6%) deteriorated from possible to severe sarcopenia. There were no significant between-group differences, but significant within-group improvements (p < 0.05) were detected for handgrip strength (PRT+WP 5.0 kg, d = 0.93; PRT 6.1 kg, d = 0.55), 5-times sit-to-stand time (PRT 2.0 s, d = 1.04), nutrition score (PRT+WP 3.44, d = 0.52; PRT 1.80, d = 0.44), and stair ascent time (PRT+WP 0.97 s, d = 0.77; PRT 0.75 s, d = 0.97). Our thematic analyses identified four main themes, namely, (1) perceived benefits, (2) sustaining behavior changes, (3) challenges in participating, and (4) improved wellbeing. Participants expressed how they initially were skeptical and doubted that they could complete the exercises or tolerate the milk-based WP supplements. However, they reported positive experiences and benefits felt from strength gains, increased confidence, and better physical abilities. Participants were surprised by the zero adverse effects of WP supplements. The women wanted more nutritional information and structured, guided exercise programs and suggested a community-based implementation. In conclusion, our findings showed PRT was well received and may support reduced risks of sarcopenia. No added benefits were seen with the addition of WP supplementation, but a larger sample is required to address this question. Overall, older (previously sarcopenic) Malay women indicated that they want more multi-modal programs embedded in their community.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:sarcopenia; older adults; resistance exercises; whey-protein; qualitative; pilot; randomized-trial
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:39025
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:29 Sep 2023 13:35
Last Modified:29 Sep 2023 13:35


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