Evaluation of a home-based exercise program in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease: the Maximizing Independence in Dementia (MIND) study

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009 Jul;24(7):680-5. doi: 10.1002/gps.2175.


Objective: To determine the feasibility and efficacy of a home-based exercise intervention program to improve the functional performance of patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD).

Methods: Twenty-seven home-dwelling patients with AD were randomized to either an exercise intervention program delivered by their caregivers or a home safety assessment control. Measures of functional performance (primary), cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, quality of life and caregiver burden (secondary) were obtained at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks following randomization. For each outcome measure, intent-to-treat analyses using linear random effects models were performed. Feasibility and adverse events were also assessed.

Results: Adherence to the exercise program was good. On the primary outcomes (functional performance) patients in the exercise group demonstrated a trend for improved performance on measures of hand function and lower extremity strength. On secondary outcome measures, trends toward worse depression and lower quality of life ratings were noted.

Conclusions: The physical exercise intervention developed for the study, delivered by caregivers to home-dwelling patients with AD, was feasible and was associated with a trend for improved functional performance in this group of frail patients. Given the limited efficacy to date of pharmacotherapies for AD, further study of exercise intervention, in a variety of care setting, is warranted.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Alzheimer Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Caregivers
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Program Evaluation