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Eur Rev Aging Phys Act. 2012 Apr;9(1):27-39. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Impact of physical activity on activity of daily living in moderate to severe dementia: a critical review.


The objectives of this study were to describe the different modalities of physical activity programs designed for moderate to severe dementia and to identify their impact on functional independence in activities of daily living (ADL). A critical review of randomized controlled trials related to the impact of physical activity programs in moderately to severely demented persons on ADL performance and meta-analysis of the identified studies were performed. Among the 303 identified articles, five responded to the selection criteria. Four out of the five studies demonstrated limited methodological quality. In one high-quality study, physical activity programs significantly delayed deterioration of ADL performance. The program components and ADL assessment tools vary widely across studies. Although the proposed treatments have not proven their efficiency in improving the ADL status of the patients, they were able to limit the decline in ADL functioning. Future research is warranted in order to identify clinically relevant modalities for physical activity programs for people with moderate to severe dementia.

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