Effect of Exercise and Cognitive Training on Falls and Fall-Related Factors in Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review

Donald S. Lipardo, Anne Marie C. Aseron, Marcella M. Kwan, Wai Nam Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Data Sources Seven databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, ProQuest, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, Digital Dissertation Consortium) and reference lists of pertinent articles were searched. Study Selection Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effect of exercise, cognitive training, or a combination of both on falls and factors associated with falls such as balance, lower limb muscle strength, gait, and cognitive function among community-dwelling older adults with MCI were included. Data Extraction Data were extracted using the modified Joanna Briggs Institute Meta-Analysis of Statistics Assessment and Review Instrument (JBI-MAStARI) tool. Study quality was assessed using the JBI-MAStARI appraisal instrument. Data Synthesis Seventeen RCTs (1679 participants; mean age ± SD, 74.4±2.4y) were included. Exercise improved gait speed and global cognitive function in MCI; both are known factors associated with falls. Cognitive training alone had no significant effect on cognitive function, while combined exercise and cognitive training improved balance in MCI. Neither fall rate nor the number of fallers was reported in any of the studies included. Conclusions This review suggests that exercise, and combined exercise and cognitive training improve specific factors associated with falls such as gait speed, cognitive function, and balance in MCI. Further research on the direct effect of exercise and cognitive training on the fall rate and incidence in older adults with MCI with larger sample sizes is highly recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2079-2096
Number of pages18
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Exercise
  • Frail elderly
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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