Respiratory Function and Upper Extremity Functional Activity Performance in People With Dementia: A Shout for Attention

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The aim of this study was to explore respiratory function and upper extremity functional activity in people with dementia (PWD) and the associations between these variables and cognitive function (n = 22 institutionalized PWD, 28 community-dwelling PWD, and 26 healthy older people). All measures were significantly lower in PWD who live in an institution, such as a nursing home or long-term care facility or who attend adult daycare than PWD who live in a community dwelling . The values from these two groups were significantly lower than those from healthy older people. Moderate to high negative correlations between upper extremity functional activity and respiratory function (−.73 < r s < −.49) and cognitive function (r s = −.83), and between cognitive function and respiratory function (−.74 < rs < −.58) were identified (p < .001). When adjusted for cognitive function (−.38 < rs < −.29; p < .05), the association between upper limb functional activity and respiratory function decreased. The decline demonstrates the importance of physical activity and cognitive and respiratory function in PWD.

Paixão, Tavares, and Marques are with the Lab 3R—Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory, School of Health Sciences (ESSUA), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal; and also with the Institute of Biomedicine (iBiMED), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal. Tavares is with the Center for Research & Development in Mathematics and Applications (CIDMA), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal.

Marques (amarques@ua.pt) is corresponding author.
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