Development and initial testing of functional task exercise on older adults with cognitive impairment at risk of Alzheimer's disease--FcTSim programme--a feasibility study.Occup Ther Int 2013; 20(4):185-97OT
The purpose of this study was to illustrate the development of a new functional task-based exercise programme and initially test its feasibility as well as effectiveness for older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This study used a single-group repeated-measures design. A total of 11 patients (mean age 71.8 years) were recruited to participate in a structured functional task exercise programme for 10 weeks. All outcome measures were undertaken at baseline, post-intervention and post-3-month follow-up using the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination (NCSE), Verbal Fluency Test (VFT), Chinese Version Verbal Learning Test (CVVLT), Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale (Lawton IADL) and Problems in Everyday Living test (PEDL). Data were analysed using a repeated-measures analysis of variance. Cohen's d effect size was used to assess the practical significant effects. The participants showed significant improvement in NCSE composite score, VFT, CVVLT total free recall, CVVLT 10-minute delayed free recall, Lawton IADL and PEDL. Results of this study demonstrate that the newly designed functional task exercise programme, which uses simulated tasks, is feasible and beneficial to cognitive functions and functional status of older persons with MCI. The findings of the current study further reinforce occupational therapy practitioners' understanding that "occupation" is a "means" and an "end". Further study with a larger population is needed to draw more definitive conclusions.