The effect of extra walking on the mobility, independence and exercise self-efficacy of elderly hospital in-patients: A pilot study Academic Article uri icon


  • There is evidence in the literature that exercise improves the health and well-being of frail older people. Little is known however of the relationship between exercise, mobility and functional independence in a frail elderly acute care hospital in-patient population. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of two extra walks per day on the mobility, independence and exercise self-efficacy of a population of elderly medical unit in-patients in an acute regional public hospital. Fifty-five subjects were recruited from the population of three medical units over a five-month period. The subjects were then allocated into a control (non-intervention) and an intervention group. The control group received the standard assistance to walk as part of their normal care. Participants in the intervention group were taken, twice a day, seven days a week by the unit nursing staff, for extra assisted walking to their comfortable limit. Mobility was measured by distance able to be walked. Independence was measured by the Barthel scale, and exercise self-efficacy by the self-efficacy exercise scale. All of the participants were assessed using these measures on admission and again at seven days. The results indicate that a walking program can increase an older person's mobility and independence which gives support to the implementation of extra walking as a worthwhile nursing intervention in this group of elderly medical unit inpatients.

publication date

  • July 2006