Effects of functional tasks exercise on older adults with cognitive impairment at risk of Alzheimer's disease: a randomised controlled trial

Age Ageing. 2014 Nov;43(6):813-20. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afu055. Epub 2014 May 21.


Objective: the aim of this study was to compare the effects of a functional tasks exercise programme to a cognitive training programme in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

Design: a single-blind randomised control trial with the intervention group compared with an active control group.

Setting: out-patient clinic.

Participants: older adults with mild cognitive impairment (n = 83) aged 60 and older living in the community.

Methods: participants were randomised to either a functional task exercise group (n = 43) or an active cognitive training group (n = 40) for 10 weeks. All outcome measures were undertaken at baseline, post-intervention and 6-month follow-up using Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination, Trail Making Test, Chinese Version Verbal Learning Test, Category Verbal Learning Test, Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale and Problems in Everyday Living Test.

Results: the functional task exercise group showed significant between-group differences in general cognitive functions, memory, executive function, functional status and everyday problem solving ability. The improvements were sustained over time at 6-month follow-up.

Conclusion: a functional tasks exercise programme is feasible for improving cognitive functions and functional status of older adults with mild cognitive impairment. This may serve as a cost-effective adjunct to the existing interventions for populations with mild cognitive impairment.

Trial registration number: ACTRN12610001025022.

Keywords: functional tasks exercise; geriatric rehabilitation; mild cognitive impairment; older people; randomised controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / prevention & control*
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Cognition*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / therapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Executive Function
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Queensland
  • Risk Factors
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ACTRN12610001025022