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Digital mobility outcomes to assess habitual physical activity in people with cognitive impairment: A systematic review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ríona McArdle, Professor Lynn RochesterORCiD


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© 2021 the Alzheimer's Association.BACKGROUND: Maintaining habitual physical activity (HPA) is essential for people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to remain functionally independent. Therefore, physical activity interventions may complement care services and promote wellbeing and independence in this population. The advent of digital technology, such as wearable technology and ambient sensors, has enhanced our ability to objectively and reliably measure HPA in a cognitively-impaired population. Digital technology can continuously and remotely capture a range of digital mobility outcomes important to independence, such as volume (i.e. amount of HPA), intensity (i.e. rate/magnitude of HPA), pattern (i.e. distribution of HPA over time) and variability (i.e. how regular or dynamic HPA is) of HPA. In order to inform clinical interventions and public health strategies for dementia, appropriate HPA outcomes must be quantified. The key aim of this review is to identify the digital tools and HPA outcomes used in community-dwellers with dementia and mild cognitive impairment, and describe the volumes, intensities, pattern and variability of physical activity in this population. METHOD: 2975 article titles were systematically reviewed. Following title search, 266 abstracts were selected for abstract review. Seventy-five articles are currently undergoing full text review. RESULT: This review will report (1). digital technology used to assess HPA (e.g. accelerometers, infra-red sensors), (2). the range of digital outcomes reported (e.g. steps per day, average ambulatory bout length), (3). key findings relating to the quantification of volume, intensity, pattern and variability of HPA in people with dementia and MCI, drawing comparisons to healthy older adults were applicable. CONCLUSION: Findings from this review will be informative to future selection of digital mobility tools and outcomes to quantify HPA in people with dementia and MCI. The literature will be synthesized to identify the current state of research and identify gaps for future investigation. Recommendations will be made for the development of protocols to continuously and remotely assess HPA in people with cognitive impairment, and for identifying the most appropriate digital mobility outcomes to serve as clinical or interventional endpoints to monitor change in HPA in this population.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ardle RM, Jabbar KA, Din SD, Kerse N, Rochester L, Callisaya ML

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Alzheimer's & Dementia: The journal of the Alzheimer's Association

Year: 2021

Volume: 17

Issue: S11

Online publication date: 31/12/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 1552-5260

ISSN (electronic): 1552-5279

Publisher: Wiley


DOI: 10.1002/alz.055547

PubMed id: 34971056


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