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Feasibility, safety and preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of a home-based exercise programme for older people with Alzheimer’s disease: a pilot randomized controlled trial


Suttanon, P., Hill, K. D., Said, C. M., Williams, S. B., Byrne, K. N., LoGiudice, D., Lautenschlager, N. T., Dodd, K. J.


Clinical Rehabilitation, Volume: 27, No.: 5, Pages.: 427-438

Year of Publication



Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and safety of a home-based exercise programme for people with Alzheimer’s disease, and to provide preliminary evidence of programme effectiveness in improving balance and mobility and reducing falls risk.; Design: A randomized controlled trial.; Setting: Community.; Participants: Forty people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (mean age 81.9, SD 5.72; 62.5% female).; Interventions: Participants were randomized to a six-month home-based individually tailored balance, strengthening and walking exercise programme (physiotherapist) or a six-month home-based education programme (control) (occupational therapist). Both programmes provided six home-visits and five follow-up phone calls.; Main Measures: Balance, mobility, falls and falls risk were measured at baseline and programme completion. Intention-to-treat analysis using a generalized linear model with group allocation as a predictor variable was performed to evaluate programme effectiveness. Feasibility and adverse events were systematically recorded at each contact.; Results: Fifty-eight per cent of the exercise group finished the programme, completing an average of 83% of prescribed sessions, with no adverse events reported. Functional Reach improved significantly (P = 0.002) in the exercise group (mean (SD), 2.28 (4.36)) compared to the control group (-2.99 (4.87)). Significant improvement was also observed for the Falls Risk for Older People – Community score (P = 0.008) and trends for improvement on several other balance, mobility, falls and falls risk measures for the exercise group compared to the control group.; Conclusions: The exercise programme was feasible and safe and may help improve balance and mobility performance and reduce falls risk in people with Alzheimer’s disease.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Suttanon_2012, doi = {10.1177/0269215512460877}, url = {}, year = 2012, month = {nov}, publisher = {{SAGE} Publications}, volume = {27}, number = {5}, pages = {427--438}, author = {P. Suttanon and K. D. Hill and C. M. Said and S. B. Williams and K. N. Byrne and D. LoGiudice and N. T. Lautenschlager and K. J. Dodd}, title = {Feasibility, safety and preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of a home-based exercise programme for older people with Alzheimer{textquotesingle}s disease: a pilot randomized controlled trial}, journal = {Clinical Rehabilitation} }


accidental falls, adverse, aged, 80 and over, alzheimer disease, australia, balance, events, exercise therapy, fall, falls, feasibility studies, female, home care services, humans, linear models, male, methods, mobility, muscle strength, new zealand, patient education as topic, patient safety, physiology, pilot projects, postural balance, prevention, prevention & control, quality of life, rehabilitation, risk, risk assessment, walking

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Randomised Controlled Trial

Type of Outcomes

Other, Prevention and/or management of co-morbidities


Extra Care Housing

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Exercise (inc. dancing), Occupational Therapy