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More than 800000 people in the UK have dementia, and it is a government priority to improve dementia care. Drug treatment options are relatively limited. The Dementia And Physical Activity (DAPA) study is a randomised trial which targets cognition in people with dementia, using an exercise programme. There is evidence to suggest that both aerobic and resistance exercise may be useful in improving cognition. Hence the intervention comprises a supervised part of twice-weekly exercise classes of one hour duration for 4 months, including aerobic exercise at moderate intensity on static bicycles, and resistance (weight training) exercise using weight vests, weight belts and dumbbells. Thereafter participants progress to unsupervised, independent exercise. Aids to behaviour modification have been incorporated into the intervention. The DAPA intervention has been designed to maximise likelihood of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, and for delivery in the UK National Health Service.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





126 - 134


Dementia, Exercise, Randomised controlled trial, Accidental Falls, Activities of Daily Living, Affect, Cognition, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Dementia, Exercise Therapy, Humans, Intention, Patient Compliance, Quality of Life, Research Design, Severity of Illness Index