Effectiveness of Exercise Programs on Patients with Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.
Biomed Res Int. 2019 ;2019:2308475. Epub 2019 Nov 22. PMID: 31886182
Exercise programs have been introduced to improve cognitive function, whereas studies showed inconsistent results regarding the effectiveness of exercise programs on patients with dementia. This study aimed to summarize randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to assess the effect of exercise programs on cognition, activities of daily living (ADL), and depression in elderly with dementia. We systematically screened PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane library for relevant studies throughout November 21, 2018. The pooled standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were employed to calculate cognition, ADL, and depression by using random-effects model. A total of 20 RCTs with 2,051 dementia patients were included in final quantitative meta-analysis. There were no significant differences between exercise programs and control regarding cognition (SMD: 0.44; 95% CI: -0.21-1.09;=0.183), ADL (SMD: 0.50; 95% CI: -0.03-1.02;=0.066), and depression (SMD: -0.43; 95% CI: -0.90-0.05;=0.077). Sensitivity analysis results indicated that exercise programs might play an important role in cognition and ADL, whereas the depression level was unaltered by the exclusion of any particular study. Subgroup analyses indicated that exercise programs were associated with increased cognitive levels if the mean age of patients was<80.0 years when compared with usual care and studies with low quality. Moreover, the ADL level was significantly increased in patients receiving exercise programs versus usual care. These results suggested that exercise programs might play an important role in cognition and ADL in patients with dementia. These results required further verification by large-scale RCTs, especially for depression outcomes.