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  1. Karssemeijer, Esther G. A. MD


Background and Purpose: Community-dwelling persons with dementia are inactive most of the day. The purpose of this study was to rank the barriers, motivators, and facilitators that hamper or promote physical activity (PA) participation for persons with dementia. This could provide knowledge that can be used to design effective interventions to promote PA participation for persons with dementia.


Methods: Twenty community-dwelling persons with dementia, mean (SD) age = 79 (5.4) years, 25% female, mean (SD) Mini-Mental Status Examination score = 23 (3.5); their informal caregivers, N = 20, mean (SD) age = 70 (11.5) years, 85% female; and an expert group of physiotherapists, N = 15, mean (SD) age = 41 (12.4) years, 73% female, were asked to rank preselected barriers, motivators, and facilitators of PA participation for persons with dementia. These statements were categorized at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and community levels.


Results and Discussion: Persons with dementia and their informal caregivers selected only motivators and facilitators as being important for PA participation, with the motivator "beneficial health effects" considered the most important. The experts had a different perspective on PA participation; half of their ranked top 10 most important factors were barriers to PA participation for persons with dementia. This could be explained by the more critical role of a therapist, focusing on symptom control and treatment of disability; in this case, the elimination of barriers to maintain PA participation in their patients. Furthermore, all groups prioritized statements at the intrapersonal level.


Conclusions: The results of this study suggest a difference in perspective between the more optimistic view of persons with dementia and their informal caregivers and the more critical view of physiotherapy experts regarding the most important factors that influence PA participation. In addition, there was a strong focus on the individual characteristics that influence PA behavior that warrant personalized interventions to promote PA in persons with dementia.