Effects of Physical Activity in Nursing Home Residents with Dementia: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Marinda Henskens*, Ilse M. Nauta, Marieke C.A. Van Eekeren, Erik J.A. Scherder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background/Aims: There is no consensus regarding the optimal nonpharmacological intervention to slow down dementia-related decline. We examined whether physical stimulation interventions were effective in reducing cognitive, physical, mood, and behavioral decline in nursing home residents with dementia. Methods: Eighty-seven nursing home residents with dementia were randomly assigned to 3 physical activity interventions: activities of daily living (ADL) training, multicomponent exercise training, or combined multicomponent exercise and ADL training. Outcomes were measured at baseline, and after 3 and 6 months. Results: A 6-month ADL training benefitted executive functions, physical endurance, and depression among men. Exercise training benefitted only grip strength of participants with mild-to-moderate cognitive impairment. A combined training benefitted functional mobility compared to ADL training, depressive symptoms and agitation compared to exercise training, and physical endurance compared to no physical stimulation. Conclusions: ADL training appears to be effective for nursing home residents with moderately severe dementia. It remains unclear whether exercise training is an effective type of stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-80
Number of pages21
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number1-2
Early online date24 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • Activities of daily living
  • Behavior
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Exercise
  • Mood
  • Nursing home
  • Physical functions


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