Previous research has suggested that physical exercise has the potential to slow the progression of dementia in people with pre-existing mild cognitive impairment through to moderate dementia. Evidence for the cost-effectiveness of structured physical activity programmes has been lacking, so far, however.
The current study, conducted from the UK NHS and personal social services perspective with backing from the National Institute of Health Research’s Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) programme, compared the cost-effectiveness of a “tailored, structured, moderate- to high-intensity exercise programme versus usual care in people with mild to moderate dementia”.
The particular structured exercise programme evaluated here did not slow rates of cognitive decline in people with mild cognitive impairment or moderate dementia. Accordingly the economic evaluation found that the programme was not cost-effective.
Khan, I. Petrou, S. Khan, K. [et al]; DAPA Trial Group (2019). Does structured exercise improve cognitive impairment in people with mild to moderate dementia? A cost-effectiveness analysis from a confirmatory randomised controlled trial: the Dementia and Physical Activity (DAPA) Trial. Pharmacoeconomics Open. June 2019; 3(2): pp.215-227.
Similarly inconclusive results regarding the benefits of Exergaming (exercise and gaming), as yet:
van Santen, J. Dröes, RM. [and] Holstege, M. [et al] (2019). Effects of Exergaming in people with dementia: results of a systematic literature review. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2018; 63(2): pp.741-760.