Additional benefits of passive exposures to intermittent hypoxia and hyperoxia on cognitive performance and functional exercise capacity have been demonstrated in geriatric patients who performed a multimodal training program. The main goal of the present study was to evaluate effects of adding intermittent hypoxic-hyperoxic training (IHHT) to a multimodal training intervention (MTI) on mobility and perceived health in old individuals at a Geriatric Day Hospital.
Thirty-four patients between 64 and 92 years participated in the double blind, randomized and controlled clinical trial. The elderly patients attended in a 5–7 weeks lasting MTI (strength, endurance, balance, reaction, flexibility, coordination, and cognitive exercises) and performed IHHT (breathing 10–14% oxygen for 4–7 min followed by 2–4 min 30–40% oxygen) in the Hypoxic Group (HG) or placebo treatment with ambient air in the Normoxic Group (NG) in parallel. Before and after all treatments, mobility was assessed by the Tinetti Mobility Test (TMT), the Timed-Up-and-Go Test (TUG) and Barthel-Index, while perceived health was assessed by one part of the EQ-5D Test, the EQ visual analogue scale (EQ VAS).
After the MTI plus IHHT or normoxia sessions, results of the TMT, TUG, Barthel Index and EQ-VAS revealed no significant difference between HG and NG (+ 14.9% vs + 15.4%, p = 0.25; − 21% vs − 26.3%, p = 0.51; + 4.2% vs + 3.6%, p = 0.56; + 37.9% vs + 33.9%, p = 0.24;).
IHHT added to MTI did not elicit additional improvements in perceived health and mobility compared to MTI alone.
Elderly, Multimodal training, Hypoxia, Intervention, Perceived health
© The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)