Exercise and dementia: what should we be recommending?

Lewis, Kiara ORCID: 0000-0002-0142-7351, Livsey, Leanne, Naughton, Robert J and Burton, Kim (2020) Exercise and dementia: what should we be recommending? Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 21 (2). pp. 109-127. doi:10.1108/QAOA-10-2019-0053

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Abstract

Purpose Exercise has the potential to provide benefits for people living with dementia, yet the balance of evidence is uncertain. This paper aims to provide an evidence synthesis to determine whether exercise improves their health and well-being and what exercise should be recommended. Design/methodology/approach Structured search for existing literature reviews on exercise for dementia. Relevant articles were selected and critically appraised against systematic criteria. The findings from 15 high quality reviews were collated by using a best evidence synthesis approach. Findings The evidence is convincing for improving physical health, promising for cognitive benefits, mixed for psychological benefits and limited for behavioural outcomes. No evidence of harm was found. Overall, exercise can improve physical and mental health for people living with dementia: there is sufficient evidence to recommend multimodal exercise. Social implications The potential beneficial outcomes are of significant importance both for people with dementia and their caregivers. In the absence of more specific findings, the current recommendation for older adults in general is pragmatically justified – some activity is better than none, more activity provides greater benefits. Adding social interaction may be important for psychological and behavioural outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dementia; Exercise; Cognition; Activities of daily living; Behavioural outcomes; Psychological outcomes; Aerobic exercise; Social interaction
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Sport and Exercise > Sports Leadership, Education & Society
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Rhiannon Goodland
Date Deposited: 18 May 2021 09:51
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 22:19
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/9698

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