Cognitive motor interference for preventing falls in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Xueqiang Wang, Yanling Pi, Peijie Chen, Yu Liu, Ru Wang, Che Hin Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: we conducted a systematic review to determine the effect of cognitive motor interference (CMI) for the prevention of falls in older adults.Methods: we searched studies through Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, CINAHL, PEDro and the China Biology Medicine disc. Only randomised controlled trials examining the effects of CMI for older people were included. The primary outcome measure was falls; the secondary outcome measures included gait, balance function and reaction time.Results: a total of 30 studies of 1,206 participants met the inclusion criteria, and 27 studies of 1,165 participants were used as data sources for the meta-analyses. The pooling revealed that CMI was superior to control group for fall rate [standard mean difference (SMD) (95% CI) = -3.03 (-4.33, -1.73), P < 0.0001], gait speed [SMD (95% CI) = 0.36 (0.07, 0.66), P = 0.01], step length [SMD (95% CI) = 0.48 (0.16, 0.80), P = 0.003], cadence [SMD (95% CI) = 0.19 (0.01, 0.36), P = 0.03], timed up and go test [SMD (95% CI) = -0.22 (-0.38, -0.06), P = 0.007], centre of pressure displacement [SMD (95% CI) = -0.32 (-1.06, 0.43), P = 0.04] and reaction time [SMD (95% CI) = -0.47 (-0.86, -0.08), P = 0.02].Conclusion: the systematic review demonstrates that CMI is effective for preventing falls in older adults in the short term. However, there is, as yet, little evidence to support claims regarding long-term benefits. Hence, future studies should investigate the long-term effectiveness of CMI in terms of fall prevention in older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberafu175
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Balance
  • Cognitive motor interference
  • Falls
  • Gait
  • Older people
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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