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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2016 February;52(1):101-9


lingua: Inglese

Effect of a combining cognitive and balanced training on the cognitive, postural and functional status of seniors with a mild cognitive deficit in a randomized, controlled trial

Magdalena HAGOVSKÁ 1, Peter TAKÁČ 1, Oliver DZVONÍK 2

1 Physiatry, Balneology and Medical Rehabilitation Clinic of the Medical Faculty UPJŠ, Košice, Slovak Republic; 2 Department of Psychology and Psychiatry, Institute of Aviation Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic


BACKGROUND: An optimal frequency and duration of cognitive trainings and exercise has not yet been determined for improving balance and for positively influencing cognitive functions.
AIM: To investigate whether the CogniPlus method with a dynamic balance training not only improves cognitive functions but also improves the postural control and functional status more than a balance training session alone in seniors with a mild cognitive deficit.
DESIGN: Randomized, controlled trial.
SETTING: Outpatient psychiatric clinic.
POPULATION: The research sample was composed of 80 seniors with a mild cognitive deficit (average age 67.07 years), an experimental group (N.=40) and a control group (N.=40).
METHODS: The experimental group was engaged in 20 cognitive training sessions twice per week, using CogniPlus together with balance training. The control group was given only the balance training programme for the same duration and frequency. Both groups performed dynamic balance training for 30 minutes daily in a domestic environment for ten weeks, in accordance with instructions given by a physiotherapist. Cognitive functions were assessed by Addenbrooke’s cognitive examination, data on daily life activities were collected by the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ-CZ) and coordination abilities were evaluated by the Balance Evaluation – Systems Test (BESTest).
RESULTS: After training, there were significant differences between these two groups recorded in the assessment of several cognitive functions by the Addenbrooke’s cognitive examination (P<0.05-0.0001) in favour of the experimental group. Also, the assessment of postural reactions and the total score of the BESTest were in favour of the experimental group (P<0.05-0.0001). Effect size was small. No significant differences were noted in the evaluation of functional activities.
CONCLUSION: Combining cognitive and dynamic balanced training achieved significantly higher improvements not only in the evaluation of cognitive domains but also in postural control, than balance training alone in seniors with mild cognitive impairment.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: CogniPlus with dynamic balance training could be recommended as a therapeutic procedure for the prevention and treatment of cognitive and balance disorders.

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