Logo der Universität Wien

Platform Activities

Effect of progressive resistance training, nutritional optimization or cognitive training on health status, motor competence and quality of life in institutionalized elderly - a long term intervention study


The intervention study over a period of 18 months aimed at evaluating the impact of exercise training (progressive resistance training) with or without dietary supplementation (as a nutrient dense supplement designed to prevent sarcopenia) on performance, functional parameters, the nutritional status and observational markers such as Quality of Life, Mini Nutritional Assessment or the depression score, in institutionalized elderly of the 7th and 10th decade of life. In order to consider a potential bias due to socializing effects of the supervised trainings, a cognitive training group was included serving as control group.

The study was conducted exclusively by residents of the Curatorship of Viennese retirement homes (KWP). Five of 31 houses took part in the study. In a first step a medical assessment assured that potential participants met the inclusion criteria [women and men aged 65+, Mini-Mental-State (MMST) ≥23]. Each of the inclusion criteria had to be fulfilled to take part in the study. For the exclusion from the study it was enough to satisfy one of the exclusion criteria (chronic diseases, which contraindicate a medical training therapy, serious cardiovascular diseases, diabetic retinopathy, regular use of cortisone-containing drugs, regular strength training (> 1x / week) in the last 6 months before inclusion). The selection of contraindications referred to the scientific statement of the American Heart Association (AHA).


The study was conducted in a randomized, controlled, observer-blind design with three parallel groups [Cognitive training (CT), resistance training (RT), RT + supplement (RTS)]. Participants were assigned randomly but stratified by gender and senior homes to one of the three intervention groups. The assignment took place after the baseline tests, using a commercial randomization tool. Due to the different venues we obtained that the gender distribution of the groups was balanced in each house. The focus was on assessing the effects of a combined intervention with progressive resistance training and nutritional supplementation on muscle strength and physical performance in institutionalized elderly. The results of the combination of both intervention strategies were compared to the training group (without nutritional supplementation) and the control group performing cognitive exercise. Tests of muscle strength, physical function, blood sampling, body composition, questionnaires as well as muscle biopsies were conducted before as well as 3, 6 12 and 18 months following the intervention. The present study was conducted in accordance with the Austrian laws (including doctors Act, CISA, Data Protection Act), the Declaration of Helsinki (as revised in Edinburgh 2000) and in analogous accordance with ICH-GCP Guidelines. The planning of the study design was made with special scientific and ethical care. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects.

Faculty of Life Sciences and Centre for Sport Science and University Sports

Universität Wien,
1090 Wien,
Althanstraße 14 (UZA II)

T: +43-1-4277-54930
F: +43-1-4277-9549
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0