Cognitive and cognitive-motor interventions affecting physical functioning: A systematic review
OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether performing cognitive tasks while exercising influenced the effects of an exercise program designed to reduce the risk of falling in elderly women with osteoporosis. METHODS We included 68 osteoporotic women older than 70 years of age (mean age, 73.5 years+/-1.6) who followed a program of 12 sessions of balance, coordination, and ambulation exercises designed to lessen the risk of falling. The patients were divided into two groups based on proximity to the study centers. The groups were randomly allocated to the exercise program alone (N=31, single-task group) or to the same program combined with cognitive tasks performed while exercising (N=37, dual-task group). Timed up-and-go tests and one-leg balance (OLB) tests were done at baseline, at the end of the exercise program, and 3 months after the end of the exercise program. RESULTS In both groups, the exercise program produced significant improvements in up-and-go and OLB times. Additional improvements occurred over the first 3 months following the program. Adding cognitive exercises did not provide added efficacy. CONCLUSIONS Balance was improved after the exercise sessions. The improvements were clinically significant and increased over time.