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JFSF Vol 8, No 1, March 2023, p.60-65

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-08-060


Research Protocol

The effectiveness of mental imagery on motor, cognitive and emotional status of older people with early-stage dementia: A study protocol

Anna Christakou1,2, Christina Bouzineki1, Marousa Pavlou3, George Stranjalis4, Vasiliki Sakellari1

  1. Physiotherapy Department, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
  2. Physiotherapy Department, University of Peloponnese Sparti, Greece
  3. Centre for Human & Applied Physiological Sciences, King’s College, London, UK
  4. Department of Neurosurgery, University of Athens, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, Greece

Keywords: Balance, Cognitive status, Dementia, Mental Imagery, Physiotherapy


Dementia involves the loss of cognitive abilities and represents a decline from the prior level of function which impairs functional abilities in day-to-day life. No previous experimental research has been done to assess mental imagery (MI) effectiveness in the motor, cognitive and emotional status of individuals with early-stage dementia. One hundred and forty older individuals with early-stage dementia from the Day Care Centre of the Alzheimer Association in Athens will take part in this study. The sample will be randomly divided into three groups: MI and physical exercise (intervention group), only physical exercise (1st control group), and neither MI nor physical exercise (2nd control group). Assessment will be obtained one week prior to the program, in the middle of the program (6th week of the intervention program) and after the end of the program (13th week of the intervention program). Participants of the intervention group will perform a 30-minute MI programme after the end of every physiotherapy session. Reliable and valid instruments will be used to assess the primary outcomes, i.e., balance and functional status as well as the secondary outcomes i.e., cognitive ability, emotional state and quality of life. The two-way Mixed ANOVA with factors ‘intervention’ (between groups) and ‘time’ (within group) will be used as a statistical analysis. Approvals of clinical trial protocol: a) UNIWA Research Committee study protocol approval: 93292 - 26/10/2021. b) ID NCT05232526.
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