Category: Cognitive Disorders (non-PD)
Objective: To examine the effectiveness of MI on balance; anxiety and quality of life of older adults with early stage of dementia.
Background: Dementia is defined as chronic, acquired loss of two or more cognitive abilities caused by brain disease or injury. Mental imagery (MI) is a cognitive technique that motor acts are mentally rehearsed without any overt body movement.
Method: This is a part of an ongoing prospective randomized controlled trial with a total sample of 140 participants. The sample was randomized to: (a) MI and exercise group (intervention group), (b) only exercise(1st group), and (c) neither MI nor exercise(2nd group). Participants received 24 physiotherapy exercise sessions, lasting 45 minutes each, twice a week for 12 weeks. Assessment was made 1week prior to the program and after the program. Participants in the intervention group performed a 30-minute MI after the end of every physiotherapy exercise session. Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the Short Screening Anxiety test (SAST), the Euro-Qol 5 Dimensions 5 Level of severity scale and the VAS scale (Euro-Qol 5D-5L scale) were used to assess balance, anxiety, quality of life.
Results: 63 men and women with a mean age of 77.22 years (SD=6.47) had a mean MMSE 23.87 (SD=1.85). The participants were randomly divided into intervention (n=23), 1st control (n=22) and 2nd control group (n=18). The Kruskal Wallis H tests showed that there were statistically significant differences between (a) the intervention and the 2nd and 3rd control groups, and between 2nd and 3rd groups respectively in BBS (H(2)=12.30, p<.01, H(2)=11.50, p<0.05), (b) the intervention and the 3rd control group and between the 2 control groups in the SAST (H(2)=-21.55, p<.001); (c) the intervention and the 3rd control group and between the 2 control groups in the Euro-Qol 5D-5L scale (H(2)=-17.16 p<.001, H(2)=-11.96 p<.05); (d) the intervention and the 2nd and 3rd control groups, and between 2nd and 3rd groups respectively in the VAS scale of the Euro-Qol 5D-5L scale (H(2)=11.30, p<.05, H(2)=32.87, p<.00, H(2)=21.57 p<0.001).
Conclusion: The present study showed some preliminary positive effect of MI on balance, anxiety and quality of life. It is important to investigate the processes of MI in dementia due to the fact that physiotherapists may use MI to increase the functional status and quality of life of elderly people with dementia.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:C. Bouzineki, A. Christakou. The effects of mental imagery on balance, anxiety and quality of life of older people with early stage of dementia: Preliminary data [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2023; 38 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/the-effects-of-mental-imagery-on-balance-anxiety-and-quality-of-life-of-older-people-with-early-stage-of-dementia-preliminary-data/. Accessed September 22, 2023.
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