Background It is suggested that persons with lower levels of cognition are less likely to achieve independence in ADLs and ambulation (Wells et al, 2003). Frequently, nursing home residents are viewed as too frail or cognitively impaired to benefit from exercise rehabilitation. Often, persons with a Mini Mental State Examination score (MMSE) score below 25 are excluded from rehabilitation programs. Diamond et al (1996) and Goldstein (1997) concluded that geriatric patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment were just as likely as the cognitively intact patients to improve in functional abilities as results of participation in exercise rehabilitation.
Objectives To compare by meta-analysis method endurance and strength outcomes of cognitively impaired (CI) (MMSE ≤ 24) and cognitively intact (IN) (MMSE ≥ 25) older adults that participate in similar exercise trials.
Data Sources Published articles were identified by using electronic and manual searches. Key search words included exercise, rehabilitation, cognitive impairment, MMSE, geriatrics.
Study Selection Evidence from RCTs or well-designed control studies.
Preliminary Data Synthesis A total of 36 trials met the inclusion criteria. We examined 17 exercise trials with CI individuals and 19 with intact individuals based on the MMSE score. Moderate to large effect sizes (ES) (ES = dwi, Hedges gi) were found for strength and endurance outcomes for the CI groups (dwi = .70, Effects = 33, 95% CI =. 58-.83), and for the IN (dwi = .65, Effects = 25, 95% CI = .55-.74). No statistical significant difference was found between group effects (t = 1.434, DF = 56, p =. 263).
Conclusion These preliminary results suggest that CI older adults that participate in exercise rehabilitation programs have similar strength and endurance outcomes as IN participants.
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