Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 471–479 | Cite as

Effects of a 10-week multimodal exercise program on physical and cognitive function of nursing home residents: a psychomotor intervention pilot study

  • Catarina PereiraEmail author
  • Hugo Rosado
  • Ana Cruz-Ferreira
  • José Marmeleira
Original Article



Nursing home institutionalization tends to exacerbate loss of functioning.


Examine the feasibility and the effect of a psychomotor intervention—a multimodal exercise program promoting simultaneous cognitive and motor stimulation—on the executive (planning ability and selective attention) and physical function of nursing home residents.


Seventeen participants engaged in a 10-week multimodal exercise program and 17 maintained usual activities.


Exercise group improved planning ability (25–32%), selective attention (19–67%), and physical function [aerobic endurance, lower body strength, agility, balance, gait, and mobility (19–41%)], corresponding to an effect size ranging from 0.29 (small) to 1.11 (high), p < 0.05.


The multimodal exercise program was feasible and well tolerated. The program improved executive and physical functions of the nursing home residents, reverting the usual loss of both cognitive and motor functioning in older adult institutionalized.


Multimodal exercise programs may help to maintain or improve nursing home residents’ functioning.


Elderly Executive function Planning ability Attention Physical function 



Funding was provided by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PT) (Grant no. UID/DTP/04045/2013) and Horizon 2020—Portugal 2020—Programa Operacional Regional do Alentejo (Grant no. ALT20-03-0145-FEDER-000007).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Committee on Biomedical Ethics (Universidade de Évora, Portugal) approved this study. All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

All participants gave their informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Desporto e Saúde, Escola de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade de Évora, Colégio Luís António VerneyÉvoraPortugal
  2. 2.Research Centre in Sports SciencesHealth Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD)Vila RealPortugal

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