An innovative educational clinical experience promoting geriatric exercise.
Formal educational training in physical activity promotion is relatively sparse throughout the medical education system. The authors describe an innovative clinical experience in physical activity directed at medical clinicians on a geriatrics rotation. The experience consists of a single 2 1/2 hour session, in which learners are partnered with geriatric patients engaged in a formal supervised exercise program. The learners are guided through an evidence-based exercise regimen tailored to functional status. This experience provides learners with an opportunity to interact with geriatric patients outside the hospital environment to counterbalance the typical geriatric rotation in which geriatric patients are often seen in clinics or hospitals. In this experience, learners are exposed to fit and engaged geriatric patients successfully living in the community despite chronic or disabling conditions. A survey of 105 learners highlighted positive responses to the experience, with 96% of survey respondents indicating that the experience increased their confidence in their ability to serve as advocates for physical activity for older adults, and 89.5% of responders to a follow-up survey indicating that the experience changed their perception of geriatric patients. Modifications to the experience, implemented at partnering facilities are described. The positive feedback from this experience warrants consideration for implementation in other settings.
Manning, KM; McNeill, DL; Pinheiro, SO; Heflin, MT; Valencia, WM; Lee, CC; Castle, SC; Katzel, L; Giffuni, J; Morey, MC
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