There is little knowledge about the ways geriatric physiotherapy is being carried out in practice and about the situational construction of formal policies for promoting physical activity. This article examines how professional physiotherapists and frail community-dwelling older adults as their clients use talk and action to construct a group exercise session in an inpatient rehabilitation setting in Finland. The analysis of 7 group exercise sessions with a total of 52 clients and 9 professional physiotherapists revealed 3 different practitioner approaches, which served different functions in older adults' empowerment and lifestyle activity change. The highly structured approach favored taciturn physical performances completed independently and successfully by frail older adults. The guided exercise approach with individualized guidance encouraged occasional coconstruction of shared understanding of learning the exercises. The circuit training approach facilitated occasional self-regulation by the clients. The results of this study indicate that a combination of different approaches is required to address the multifaceted needs of heterogeneous frail older adults.
|Publication status||Published - May 2008|