Dual-Task Zumba Gold for Improving the Cognition of People With Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Laurence Lloyd Parial, Patrick Pui Kin Kor, Earl Francis Sumile, Angela Yee Man Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Integrating mental activities with physical exercises (e.g., dual-tasking) may potentially improve cognition in older adults and people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This study investigated the preliminary efficacy of a new intervention called dual-task Zumba Gold (DTZ) on people with MCI to guide an adequately-powered full-scale trial. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This is a 2-arm pilot randomized controlled trial with 60 people with MCI assigned to a 12-week DTZ intervention or control group (health education). We hypothesized that DTZ would facilitate significant improvements in global cognition (primary outcome) and other psychological/physical measures at postintervention (T1) and 6-week follow-up (T2). Generalized estimating equations with an intention-to-treat approach were used to evaluate intervention effects. Postintervention qualitative interviews explored the participants' program perceptions. RESULTS: Fifty-one participants completed the study, with no adverse events reported. DTZ participants showed significant improvements in global cognition (p < .001, d = 0.75-0.78), executive function (p < .001, d = 0.28-0.33), immediate recall (p < .001, d = 0.50-0.54), delayed recall (p = .003, d = 0.66-0.71), quality of life (p = .027, d = 0.59-0.63), and mobility (p = .005, d = 0.53-0.56) at T1 and T2. There were nonsignificant changes in working memory, depressive symptoms, blood pressure, body mass index, and waist circumference. Participants conveyed intervention acceptability, including challenges/barriers, enablers, and future recommendations. DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: DTZ is a potentially feasible intervention for people with MCI that may improve cognition, quality of life, and mobility. A full-scale trial is recommended for confirmatory evaluation. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04788238.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1248-1261
Number of pages14
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2023


  • Cognitive decline
  • Cognitive-motor training
  • Dance exercise
  • Pilot study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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