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Physiother Theory Pract. 2010 May;26(4):226-39. doi: 10.3109/09593980903423012.

Physical activity and implications on well-being in mild Alzheimer's disease: A qualitative case study on two men with dementia and their spouses.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences/Geriatrics, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. ylva.cedervall@akademiska.se

Abstract

To improve the understanding of experiences of people with mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their significant others, related to the physical activity of the afflicted persons and its perceived importance. A qualitative case study design was used. The study comprised two men with mild AD and their wives. Data were collected by qualitative interviews and participant observations. Data analysis followed a thematic guideline as described by Braun and Clarke ( 2006 ). Three central themes of experiences related to physical activity in AD were identified: 1) physical activity as health reinforcement; 2) barriers to physical activity; and 3) adaptation strategies. Important motivations for outdoor walks were enjoyable experiences of nature, body movement, and positive attitudes toward physical activity. Several factors were experienced as barriers to physical activity (e.g., tiredness, difficulties in finding one's way, and "peculiar behavior"). Significant others made considerable adjustments in everyday life to enable their partners to retain a physically active lifestyle. The findings indicate that in persons with AD, physical activities such as outdoor walking can play an important part in everyday life by creating meaningful routines and improving experienced well-being and health.

PMID:
20397857
DOI:
10.3109/09593980903423012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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