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Older adults with reduced physical capacity are at greater risk of progression to care dependency. Progressive resistance strength exercise and multimodal exercise have been studied to restore reduced physical capacity. To summarize the best evidence of the two exercise regimes, this meta-analysis study appraised randomized-controlled trials from published systematic reviews. Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Review and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials were searched for relevant systematic reviews. Two reviewers independently screened the relevant systematic reviews to identify eligible trials, assessed trial methodological quality, and extracted data. RevMan 5.3 software was used to analyze data on muscle strength, physical functioning, activities of daily living, and falls. Twenty-three eligible trials were identified from 22 systematic reviews. The mean age of the trial participants was 75 years or older. Almost all multimodal exercise trials included muscle strengthening exercise and balance exercise. Progressive resistance exercise is effective in improving muscle strength of the lower extremity and static standing balance. Multimodal exercise is effective in improving muscle strength of the lower extremity, dynamic standing balance, gait speed, and chair stand. In addition, multimodal exercise is effective in reducing falls. Neither type of exercise was effective in improving activities of daily living. For older adults with reduced physical capacity, multimodal exercise appears to have a broad effect on improving muscle strength, balance, and physical functioning of the lower extremity, and reducing falls relative to progressive resistance exercise alone.


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International Journal of Rehabilitation Research