Feasibility of Recruiting and Assessing Health-Related Quality of Life and Physical Function in Older Chinese Adults with Cerebral Infarction

Abstract

Objective: While it is known that exercise therapy can improve physical and emotional function in cerebral infarction (CI) patients, few studies have examined how well this would be accepted by older adults in China. Methods: In this study, the feasibility of recruiting and assessing health-related quality of life and physical function in older Chinese adults with cerebral infarction was assessed. Specific aims of the study were to evaluate the feasibility of recruiting older adults, with and without CI, from three different locations/settings in China; Compare the quality of life and physical function measures between CI and control subjects; Propose future larger randomized controlled studies of aerobic and resistance exercise training in both human and animal models after CI. Results: Overall, 66/275 (24.0%) surveys that were sent to older Chinese adults were returned and evaluated. Of those surveys returned, 18 (27%) met the study inclusion and exclusion criteria. Consequently, the results of this feasibility study indicate there is a recruitment yield (number of subject contacted/number of subjects who qualified for study) of 6.5%. These number varied at the different sites/settings, but the highest recruitment yield was seen in hospitalized patients. Despite small sample sizes, there were statistically significant differences in health-related quality of life and physical function between CI patients and control subjects. Conclusion: This feasibility study demonstrated that it is possible to successfully recruit CI patients for an exercise intervention study as well as to perform important assessments of health-related quality of life and physical function. Further randomized controlled trials, in humans and animal models, will be needed determine if aerobic and/or resistance exercise training can improve health and physical function in older CI patients. Additional studies will be needed to determine the specific mechanisms responsible for the benefits see with aerobic and resistance training.