Cognitive frailty is the coexistence of physical frailty and cognitive impairment and is an at-risk state for many adverse health outcomes. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is protective against the progression of cognitive frailty. Physical inactivity is common in older people, and brisk walking is a feasible form of physical activity that can enhance their MVPA. Mobile health (mHealth) employing persuasive technology has been successful in increasing the levels of physical activity in older people. However, its feasibility and effects on older people with cognitive frailty are unclear.
We aimed to identify the issues related to the feasibility of an mHealth intervention and the trial (ie, recruitment, retention, participation, and compliance) and to examine the effects of the intervention on cognitive function, physical frailty, walking time, and MVPA.
An open-label, parallel design, randomized controlled trial (RCT) was employed. The eligibility criteria for the participants were age ≥60 years, having cognitive frailty, and having physical inactivity. In the intervention group, participants received both conventional behavior change intervention and mHealth (ie, smartphone-assisted program using Samsung Health and WhatsApp) interventions. In the control group, participants received conventional behavior change intervention only. The outcomes included cognitive function, frailty, walking time, and MVPA. Permuted block randomization in 1:1 ratio was used. The feasibility issue was described in terms of participant recruitment, retention, participation, and compliance. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to test the within-group effects in both groups separately.
We recruited 99 participants; 33 eligible participants were randomized into either the intervention group (n=16) or the control (n=17) group. The median age was 71.0 years (IQR 9.0) and the majority of them were females (28/33, 85%). The recruitment rate was 33% (33/99), the participant retention rate was 91% (30/33), and the attendance rate of all the face-to-face sessions was 100% (33/33). The majority of the smartphone messages were read by the participants within 30 minutes (91/216, 42.1%). ActiGraph (58/66 days, 88%) and smartphone (54/56 days, 97%) wearing compliances were good. After the interventions, cognitive function improvement was significant in both the intervention (P=.003) and the control (P=.009) groups. The increase in frailty reduction (P=.005), walking time (P=.03), step count (P=.02), brisk walking time (P=.009), peak cadence (P=.003), and MVPA time (P=.02) were significant only in the intervention group.
Our mHealth intervention is feasible for implementation in older people with cognitive impairment and is effective at enhancing compliance with the brisk walking training program delivered by the conventional behavior change interventions. We provide preliminary evidence that this mHealth intervention can increase MVPA time to an extent sufficient to yield clinical benefits (ie, reduction in cognitive frailty). A full-powered and assessor-blinded RCT should be employed in the future to warrant these effects.
HKU Clinical Trials Registry HKUCTR-2283; http://www.hkuctr.com/Study/Show/31df4708944944bd99e730d839db4756
Introduction: The objectives of this review paper were to synthesize the data from randomized controlled trials in the literature to come to a conclusion on the effects of e-health interventions on promoting physical activity in older people. Methods: The Medline, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, and SportDiscus databases were searched for articles about studies that 1) recruited subjects with a mean age of > 50 years, 2) tested e-health interventions, 3) employed control groups with no or less advanced e-health strategies, 4) measured physical activity as an outcome, 5) were published between 1st January 2008 and 31st May 2019, and 6) employed randomized controlled trials. The risk of bias in individual studies was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. To examine the effects of the interventions, variables quantifying the amount of physical activity were extracted. The within-group effects of individual studies were summarized using Hedges g and 95% confidence intervals. Between-group effects were summarized by meta-analyses using RevMan 5.0 with a random effect model. Results: Of the 2810 identified studies, 38 were eligible, 25 were included in the meta-analyses. The within-group effect sizes (Hedges g) of physical activity in the intervention group at T1 ranged from small to large: physical activity time (0.12 to 0.84), step counts (− 0.01 to 11.19), energy expenditure (− 0.05 to 0.86), walking time (0.13 to 3.33), and sedentary time (− 0.12 to − 0.28). The delayed effects as observed in T2 and T3 also ranged from small to large: physical activity time (0.24 to 1.24) and energy expenditure (0.15 to 1.32). In the meta-analysis, the betweengroup effect of the e-health intervention on physical activity time measured by questionnaires, physical activity time measured by objective wearable devices, energy expenditure, and step counts were all significant with minimal heterogeneity. Conclusion: E-health interventions are effective at increasing the time spent on physical activity, energy expenditure in physical activity, and the number of walking steps. It is recommended that e-health interventions be included in guidelines to enhance physical activity in older people. Further studies should be conducted to determine the most effective e-health strategies.
The aim of this study was to explore the acceptability, feasibility and usability of older people with mild dementia to use smartphone for wayfinding. Thirty cognitively normal older people and 16 people with mild dementia were recruited to participate in a wayfinding trial in the free-living environment. Five feasibility and three acceptability markers were compared between the groups. Content analysis on the video-recorded trial processes and individual interviews was employed to identify the usability issues. The results found that there were no significant between-group differences on the feasibility markers, except that the people with mild dementia needed significantly more time to complete the wayfinding trial and workshop; or on the acceptability items. Sensory/cognitive impairment and GPS signal reliability affected their usability. Mild dementia does not limit the older people to use smartphones for wayfinding in the free-living environment. Future studies should examine the efficacy and safety of smartphone to promote outdoor independence of the people with mild dementia.
Acupressure can be conducted on agitated RCH residents with dementia, but low yield of saliva samples related to participants' hyposalivation is a problem. Preliminary findings suggest that acupressure is effective in reducing both agitation and stress. Its onset of effect was immediate, and the effect was sustained until 6 weeks after the intervention. The optimal dosage appears to be a course of acupressure twice a day for 2 weeks.
Background: Acupressure has been used to manage agitation in people with dementia because it is safe and inexpensive. However, its effect on agitation and at the biochemical level is uncertain. Methods: This randomized controlled trial examined the effect of acupressure on agitation, as measured by the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI); and on salivary cortisol, as measured at baseline (T0) and in the 3rd (T1), 5th (T2), and 8th (T3) weeks. There were 119 agitated residents with dementia randomized into 3 groups: acupressure (n = 39), sham (n = 41), and usual-care group (n = 39). Results: A downward trend in agitation over time was noted in the acupressure group, which almost reached a level of significance in interaction effects between groups and time points (p = 0.052). Post hoc pairwise tests in the acupressure group showed that acupressure significantly reduced agitation at T2 (mean difference -6.84, 95% CI -10.60, -3.08) compared to baseline. Significant interaction effects between groups and time points were observed on the level of salivary cortisol (p = 0.022). Conclusion: Acupressure is a multicomponent intervention that can reduce agitation. Acupoint activation may not be a significant component in reducing agitation, although this result may have been limited by the inadequate sample size. Acupressure is effective in reducing salivary cortisol in people with dementia.
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