Lifestyle-Integrated Functional Exercise for People With Dementia: A Pilot Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of the Lifestyle-Integrated Functional Exercise for People with Dementia (LiFE4D) on health-related physical fitness, cognitive function, physical activity, and respiratory and upper limb functions. A randomized controlled pilot study was conducted (control group: usual care; experimental group: usual care and LiFE4D). The feasibility of LiFE4D was determined considering recruitment, protocol acceptability, adherence, and safety. Measures of health-related physical fitness, cognitive function, physical activity, and respiratory and upper limb functions were assessed at the baseline and 3 months. Twelve participants (8 [66.7%] female, 82 [72.2–84] years) were included, six per group. Recruitment was challenging. LiFE4D was acceptable with excellent adherence and no major adverse events. Cardiorespiratory endurance (effect size = 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI; 0.33, 2.95]) and balance (effect size = 1.46, 95% CI [0.19, 2.73]) improved after LiFE4D. LiFE4D seems to be feasible and safe, and it shows potential to significantly improve the health-related physical fitness of people with dementia.

Almeida, Paixão, and Marques are with the Lab3R—Respiratory Research and Rehabilitation Laboratory, School of Health Sciences (ESSUA), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal; and the Institute of Biomedicine (iBiMED), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal. Almeida is also with the Department of Education and Psychology (DEP), University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal; and the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. Gomes da Silva is with the Interdisciplinary Centre of Health Applied Research, School of Health, Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (ESS/IPS), Setúbal, Portugal.

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

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