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01.12.2018 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2018

Falls prevention through physical and cognitive training (falls PACT) in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial protocol

BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2018
Donald S. Lipardo, William W. N. Tsang



The presence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in older adults increases their fall risk. While physical exercise is effective in reducing falls rate and risk of falls, and cognitive training in improving cognitive functioning in healthy older adults, their effectiveness in preventing falls and reducing risks of falls in MCI when administered simultaneously is not yet established. Therefore, this study aims to determine the effectiveness of combined physical and cognitive training in preventing falls and decreasing risks of falls among community-dwelling older persons with MCI.


This is a single-blind, multicentre, randomized controlled trial. At least ninety-three community-dwelling older adults with MCI aged 60 or above will be recruited. They will be randomly allocated into four groups: Physical Training alone (PT), Cognitive Training alone (CT), combined Physical And Cognitive Training (PACT) and Waitlist Group (WG). The PT group will perform exercises (flexibility, endurance, strengthening, and balance training) for 60–90 min three times per week for 12 weeks. The CT group will be involved in a paper-based training focusing on orientation, memory, attention and executive functioning for 60–90 min per session, once a week for 12 weeks. The PACT group will undergo cognitive training incorporated in physical exercise for 60–90 min three times per week for 12 weeks. The WG will receive the intervention, combined physical and cognitive training, at a later date. Assessors blinded to participant allocation will conduct pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up assessments. The primary outcome measure will be falls rate. The secondary outcome measures will be Physiologic Profile Assessment and Falls Risk for Older Persons in the Community, and assessments that evaluate cognitive, physical and psychological factors related to falls.


Considering the possible physical, social, financial and psychological consequences of a fall, we hope to provide insights on the effectiveness of combining physical and cognitive training on falls and fall-related factors for older adults with MCI. It is projected that the combined interventions will lead to significantly lower falls rate and reduced risk of falls compared to using single or no intervention.

Trial registration NCT03167840. Registered on May 30, 2017.
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