SeniorJournal.com - Daily News for Senior Citizens

  FRONT PAGE Aging • Health • Alzheimer's - Mental • Nutrition • Medicare & Medicaid Politics  • Fitness  • Social Security • Alerts • Sex Health • Features • Retirement  Elder Care  >Search  >Senior Links


 

Health and Medicine for Seniors

Senior Heart Patients Feeling Hopeless Find Relief with Home Exercise

Patients likely thinking more positively about the future, more capable of making positive changes for a healthy lifestyle

Senior woman lifting hand weightsNov.18, 2014 — Home exercise can ease feelings of hopelessness in older people – average age of 66 - with coronary heart disease, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014.

Feeling hopeless can be dangerous because it can discourage people from taking healthful steps such as exercising or quitting smoking, said Susan L. Dunn, Ph.D., R.N., lead author of the study and a professor of nursing at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

People with hopelessness may also suffer from depression, which is marked by a loss of interest in activities they normally enjoy.

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Mental Benefits of Physical Exercise for Seniors Decease with Age

Participants who were older than 70 years of age tended to show no benefit of exercise in German study

October 14, 2014

Senior Citizens Boost Mental Abilities with Exercise Even in Old Age, Two Studies Say

Women over 70 increased size of learning area of brain, second finds window to successfully fight dementia with exercise lasts into old age

April 10, 2014

Read the latest news
> Health & Medicine
>
Today's Headlines

 

“For the first time, we show the beneficial effect of exercise in helping patients to feel more hopeful. With home exercise, patients are likely thinking more positively about the future and feeling more capable of making positive changes for a healthy lifestyle,” Dunn said.

Past studies have linked the feeling of hopelessness to the development and worsening of coronary heart disease and a higher risk of complications and death. Yet, little research has been done on helping these patients and many healthcare professionals overlook things like mental state, attitude, perspective and outlook as aspects of patient care.

The small new study involved 324 patients (average age 66, 33 percent women and 93 percent white) with coronary heart disease.

Researchers developed an instrument to measure feelings of hopelessness: “state” hopelessness, which is how pessimistic and helpless patients feel currently, and “trait” hopelessness, which captures how patients typically feel over much longer periods.

At the study’s outset, while still in the hospital, 24 percent of the patients had current feelings of hopelessness, 28 percent expressed long-term feelings of hopelessness and 30 percent had both types, at moderate to severe levels.

During a year, those who walked or biked at home at least three days a week had a 12 percent reduction in state hopelessness scores — even when considering other relevant circumstances such as age, participation in hospital-based exercise and factors of depression. This reduction was statistically significant and so was not due to chance.

The researchers were surprised to find that hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation exercise didn’t impact current hopelessness. Perhaps the initiative required to exercise at home increased patients’ sense of empowerment about their health, Dunn said.

“Individuals with trait hopelessness feel chronically helpless about many areas of their life,” Dunn said, suggesting that longer-term hopelessness may be harder to treat.

A key limitation of the small study was that some patients who felt the most hopeless dropped out over time. Also, further research is needed to examine hopelessness and exercise in racially diverse groups.

Healthcare providers need to assess the presence and severity of hopelessness in patients before hospital discharge, Dunn said.

“All patients should be encouraged to participate in a regular exercise program,” she said. “Special encouragement is needed for patients who are moderately to severely hopeless, as they may be the most vulnerable and the least likely to exercise, yet benefit the most.”

Co-authors are Maureen Dunn, Ph.D.; Nicole Rieth, B.S.N., R.N.; Jacob Clark, B.S.; and Nathan Tintle, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Great Lakes Colleges Association and Kappa Epsilon Chapter-at-Large of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing funded the study.

Follow on  and 

 

> Medical Malpractice,

> Nursing Home Abuse,

> Personal Injury

Our Experienced Lawyers Can Help

Beth Janicek, Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney"We win because we care, we prepare and we have no fear," Beth Janicek, board certified personal injury attorney

 

Free Consultation on your case.

Call Now Toll Free

1-877-795-3425

or Send Email

More at our Website

 

 

Search for more about this topic on SeniorJournal.com

Google Web SeniorJournal.com
 

Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens, baby boomers

Click to More Senior News on the Front Page

Copyright: SeniorJournal.com

 

 

 

Published by New Tech Media - www.NewTechMedia.com

Other New Tech Media sites include CaroleSutherland.com, BethJanicek.com, SASeniors.com, DrugDanger.com, etc.