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Exercise rehabilitation on home-dwelling patients with Alzheimer’s disease–a randomized, controlled trial. Study protocol


Pitkälä, Kaisu H., Raivio, Minna M., Laakkonen, Marja-Liisa, Tilvis, Reijo S., Kautiainen, Hannu, Strandberg, Timo E.


Trials, Volume: 11, Pages.: 92-92

Year of Publication



Background: Besides cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) leads to physical disability, need for help and permanent institutional care. The trials investigating effects of exercise rehabilitation on physical functioning of home-dwelling older dementia patients are still scarce. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of intensive exercise rehabilitation lasting for one year on mobility and physical functioning of home-dwelling patients with AD.; Methods: During years 2008-2010, patients with AD (n = 210) living with their spousal caregiver in community are recruited using central AD registers in Finland, and they are offered exercise rehabilitation lasting for one year. The patients are randomized into three arms: 1) tailored home-based exercise twice weekly 2) group-based exercise twice weekly in rehabilitation center 3) control group with usual care and information of exercise and nutrition. Main outcome measures will be Guralnik’s mobility and balance tests and FIM-test to assess physical functioning. Secondary measures will be cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms according to the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, caregivers’ burden, depression and health-related quality of life (RAND-36). Data concerning admissions to institutional care and the use and costs of health and social services will be collected during a two year follow-up.; Discussion: To our knowledge this is the first large scale trial exploring whether home-dwelling patients with AD will benefit from intense and long-lasting exercise rehabilitation in respect to their mobility and physical functioning. It will also provide data on cost-effectiveness of the intervention.; Trial Registration: ACTRN12608000037303.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Pitkala_2010, doi = {10.1186/1745-6215-11-92}, url = {}, year = 2010, month = {oct}, publisher = {Springer Nature}, volume = {11}, number = {1}, author = {Kaisu H Pitkala and Minna M Raivio and Marja-Liisa Laakkonen and Reijo S Tilvis and Hannu Kautiainen and Timo E Strandberg}, title = {Exercise rehabilitation on home-dwelling patients with Alzheimer{textquotesingle}s disease - a randomized, controlled trial. Study protocol}, journal = {Trials} }


aged, alzheimer disease, caregivers, clinical protocols, cognition, cost of illness, day care, depression, disability evaluation, economics, etiology, exercise therapy, finland, frail elderly, health care costs, humans, independent living, mobility limitation, neuropsychological tests, physiopathology, postural balance, psychology, quality of life, rehabilitation, research design, time factors, treatment outcome, walking

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Cost and service use study, Economic evaluation, Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Behaviour, Carer Burden (instruments measuring burden), Carers’ Mental Health, Cognition, Depression and Anxiety, Prevention and/or management of co-morbidities, Quality of Life of Person With Dementia, Service use or cost reductions (incl. hospital use reduction, care home admission delay)


Extra Care Housing

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Exercise (inc. dancing)