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A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Activity Specific Exercise Program for Individuals With Alzheimer Disease in Long-term Care Settings

Roach, Kathryn E. PT, PhD1; Tappen, Ruth M. RN, EdD2; Kirk-Sanchez, Neva PT, PhD1; Williams, Christine L. RN, DNSc2; Loewenstein, David PhD, ABPP/CN3

Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy: April/June 2011 - Volume 34 - Issue 2 - p 50–56
doi: 10.1519/JPT.0b013e31820aab9c
Research Reports

Objective: To determine whether an activity specific exercise program could improve ability to perform basic mobility activities in long-term care residents with Alzheimer disease (AD).

Design: Randomized, controlled, single-blinded clinical trial.

Setting: Residents of 7 long-term care facilities.

Participants: Eighty-two long-term care residents with mild to severe AD.

Intervention: An activity specific exercise program was compared to a walking program and to an attention control.

Measurements: Ability to perform bed mobility and transfers was assessed using the subscales of the Acute Care Index of Function; functional mobility was measured using the 6-Minute Walk test.

Results: Subjects receiving the activity specific exercise program improved in ability to perform transfers, whereas subjects in the other 2 groups declined.

1Department of Physical Therapy, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.

2Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.

3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida.

Address correspondence to: Kathryn E. Roach, PT, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, 5915 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Plumer Bldg. 5th Floor, Coral Gables, FL 33146 (

Funded by NIH, NINR 5RO1-NR04176 from the National Institute for Nursing Research, Effect of Exercise on Function of Residents with AD.

The authors have no financial or any other kind of personal conflicts with this manuscript.

Copyright © 2011 the Section on Geriatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association
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