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Physical activity improves cognitive function in people with memory impairment

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QUESTION

Question:

Does physical activity improve cognitive function in people with self-reported memory impairment?

Patients:

170 adults over 50 years old with self-reported memory difficulties. Main exclusion criteria: dementia diagnosis; significant cognitive impairment; significant depression symptoms; chronic mental illness; inability to engage in physical activity; or potentially fatal physical illness.

Setting:

Royal Perth Hospital, Australia; recruitment May 2004 to July 2006.

Intervention:

Physical activity programme (including behavioural adherence package) plus usual care or usual care alone. Physical activity programme: 24 weeks of at least three 50 min moderate home based exercise sessions. Physical activity was prescribed on an individualised basis by trained physical activity staff during a 60 min initial interview. After the initial 24 week programme, no further intervention was delivered except for four reinforcing newsletters distributed at 32, 40, 65 and 72 weeks. Behavioural adherence package: information on exercise programmes, goal setting, time management, barriers to and safe exercise delivered via a manual, newsletters, workshop and telephone calls. Usual care: educational material about memory loss, stress …

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