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Exercise as a treatment for sarcopenia; An umbrella review of systematic review evidenc

Lookup NU author(s): Sarah Moore, Nina Hrisos, Linda Errington, Professor Lynn RochesterORCiD, Emerita Professor Helen Rodgers, Professor Miles WithamORCiD, Professor Avan SayerORCiD



This is the of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Elsevier Ltd, 2020.

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BackgroundSarcopenia is a progressive and generalised skeletal muscle disorder, and a powerful predictor of adverse health outcomes. Exercise is a widely recommended treatment but consensus about the best approach is lacking.ObjectiveTo synthesise current systematic review evidence on the effectiveness of exercise in the treatment of sarcopenia to inform clinical practice.Data sourcesFive electronic databases were searched (15 November 2018): Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; MEDLINE without revisions; EMBASE; Scopus; and Web of Science.Study selection or eligibility criteriaSystematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials evaluating exercise to treat sarcopenia in adults including sarcopenic outcomes.Study appraisal and synthesis methodsReview data were extracted and quality assessed (using the AMSTAR 2) by two independent assessors. Due to a lack of eligible reviews, a narrative synthesis of the evidence was performed.ResultsTwo reviews were identified which included seven studies with 619 participants. Study exercise interventions included: resistance; mixed and whole body vibration training programmes. Review findings demonstrate limited low quality evidence of positive effects of mixed and resistance training in treating sarcopenia.LimitationsLimited eligible reviews restricted synthesis and interpretation of findings.Conclusion and implications of key findingsThere is a lack of high quality research with which to inform the treatment of sarcopenia with exercise. Further research using more precision when selecting sarcopenic populations and outcomes is required in this field. this will enable the identification of effective ways of treating sarcopenia with exercise before evidence-based clinical guidelines can be established.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Moore SA, Hrisos N, Errington L, Rochester L, Rodgers H, Witham M, Sayer AA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physiotherapy

Year: 2020

Volume: 107

Pages: 189-201

Print publication date: 01/06/2020

Online publication date: 09/08/2019

Acceptance date: 05/08/2019

Date deposited: 22/08/2019

ISSN (print): 0031-9406

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1465

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/


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Funder referenceFunder name
ICA-CL-2015-01-012National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)