Exercise interventions for older people with cognitive frailty-a scoping review

Author: Xiaohua Li1, Yan Zhang2, Yutong Tian1, Qingyun Cheng1, Yue Gao1, Mengke Gao1
1 School of Nursing and Health, Zhengzhou University, Henan, China.
2 School of Nursing and Health, Zhengzhou University, Henan, China. zhangyanmy@126.com.
Conference/Journal: BMC Geriatr
Date published: 2022 Sep 1
Other: Volume ID: 22 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 721 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1186/s12877-022-03370-3. , Word Count: 396

As the global population ages, the issue of frailty in older people is gaining international attention. As one of the major subtypes of frailty, cognitive frailty is a heterogeneous clinical manifestation characterised by the co-existence of physical decline and cognitive impairment. The occurrence of cognitive frailty increases the risk of adverse health outcomes in older people, affecting their daily functioning and quality of life. However, cognitive frailty is a reversible state, and many interventions have been explored, with exercise interventions playing an important role in the non-pharmacological management of cognitive frailty. This study describes and summarises current exercise interventions for older people with cognitive frailty (including parameters such as mode, frequency and duration of exercise) and identifies the limitations of existing studies to inform future exercise interventions for older people with cognitive frailty.

Using a scoping review approach, Chinese and English literature published in PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Embase, China Knowledge Network, Wanfang Database, China Biomedical Literature Database (SinoMed) and Vipshop from April 2013, when the definition of cognitive frailty first appeared, to August 2021 was searched to select studies related to exercise interventions for this group, extract information from the included literature, and summarise and report the findings.

Nine RCT trial studies and one quasi-experiment study were included, for a total of 10 articles. The exercise modalities involved walking, brisk walking, Otago exercise, resistance exercise, balance training, flexibility training and Baduanjin, etc.; the intensity of exercise was based on individualised guidance and graded exercise intensity; the frequency of exercise was mostly 3-4 times/week; the duration of exercise was mostly 30-60 min/time; compared to the control group, the included studies showed statistically significant improvements in cognitive function, frailty status, and depression with the exercise intervention.

There is a paucity of evidence on exercise interventions for older people with cognitive frailty. The evidence provided in this study suggests that exercise interventions may be beneficial for older people with cognitive frailty. However, the existing studies suffer from small sample sizes, short intervention periods, inadequate monitoring of the entire exercise process, and non-uniformity in the assessment of exercise effects. More randomized controlled trials should be conducted in the future to explore the most effective, low-cost and simple interventions to meet the needs of the older people with cognitive frailty.

Keywords: Cognitive frailty; Exercise intervention; Older people; Scoping review.

PMID: 36045320 DOI: 10.1186/s12877-022-03370-3