Feasibility of Conducting Nonpharmacological Interventions to Manage Dementia Symptoms in Community-dwelling Older Adults: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial


American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias




This study assessed the feasibility of conducting 3 nonpharmacological interventions with older adults in dementia, exploring the effects of chair yoga (CY), compared to music intervention (MI) and chair-based exercise (CBE) in this population. Using a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT), 3 community sites were randomly assigned 1:1:1 to CY, MI, or CBE. Participants attended twice-weekly 45-minute sessions for 12 weeks. Thirty-one participants were enrolled; 27 safely completed the interventions and final data collection (retention rate of 87%). Linear mixed modeling was performed to examine baseline and longitudinal group differences. The CY group improved significantly in quality of life compared to the MI group (CY mean = 35.6, standard deviation [SD] = 3.8; MI mean = 29.9, SD = 5.3, P = .010). However, no significant group differences were observed in physical function, behavioral, or psychological symptoms (eg, for mini-PPT: slopetime = 0.01, standard error [SE] = 0.3, P = .984 in the CBE group; slopetime = −0.1, SE = 0.3, P = .869 in the MI group; slopetime = −0.3, SE = 0.3, P = .361 in the CY group) over the 12-week intervention period. Overall, this pilot study is notable as the first cluster RCT of a range of nonpharmacological interventions to examine the feasibility of such interventions in older adults, most with moderate-to-severe dementia. Future clinical trials should be conducted to examine the effects of nonpharmacological interventions for older adults with dementia on health outcomes. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Behavioral Scales; Elderly; Functional Status; Long-Term Care Facility; Music Therapy; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Physical Exercise; Psychiatric Symptoms; Psychological Outcomes; Quality of Life

Indexed Terms

dementia; nonpharmacological interventions; chair yoga; music intervention; chair-based exercise; Elderly; Disease Management; Exercise; Feasibility Studies; Independent Living; Pilot Projects; Quality of Life; Yoga; Aging; Intervention; Psychiatric Symptoms

Study Type

Randomized Controlled; Trial; Quantitative Methods

Document Type