Home-Based Physical Activity Programs for People With Dementia: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. By: Almeida, Sara Isabel Lebre de; Silva, Madalena Gomes da; Marques, Alda Sofia Pires de Dias. Gerontologist. Dec2020, Vol. 60 Issue 8, pe600-e608. 9p.

Background and Objectives: Physical activity has the potential to improve health outcomes in people with dementia, namely when living at home. However, the knowledge about home-based physical activity for this population is scarce. Thus, we aim to identify and synthesize the effects of home-based physical activity for people with dementia.

Research Design and Methods: A systematic review was conducted. Quality of studies was assessed using the Delphi List. Effect sizes (ES) were calculated with MetaXL 2.0. A meta-analysis was conducted for the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Group Activities of Daily Living Scale (ADCS-ADL), Functional Reach test, Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, Short Physical Performance Battery, Dementia Quality of Life, NPI Caregivers subscale and Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI).

Results: Sixteen randomized controlled trials were included. Most were of high quality and published after 2015. A large heterogeneity of interventions was found. Meta-analysis showed significant results in MMSE (ES = 0.71, 95% CI 0.43, 0.99), NPI (ES = −0.37, 95% CI −0.57, −0.17), ADCS-ADL (ES = 0.80, 95% CI 0.53, 1.07), Functional Reach test (ES = 2.24, 95% CI 1.80, 2.68), TUG test (ES = −2.40, 95% CI −2.84, −1.96), NPI Caregivers subscale (ES = −0.63, 95% CI −0.94, −0.32), and ZBI (ES = −0.45, 95% CI −0.77, −0.13). Few minor adverse events and high adherence to intervention were found.

Discussion and Implications: Home-based physical activity seems safe and effective in delaying cognitive function decline and improving changes in behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, activities of daily living, health-related physical fitness, and carer’s burden in people with dementia living at home.