The effects of interventions to enhance cognitive and physical functions in older people with cognitive frailty: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ada Chung Ying Tam, Amanda Wan Yee Chan, Daphne Sze Ki Cheung, Lily Yuen Wah Ho, Angel Shuk Kwan Tang, Martin Christensen, Mimi Mun Yee Tse, Rick Yiu Cho Kwan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Cognitive frailty is the co-existence of mild cognitive impairment and physical frailty that increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. The existing systematic reviews on cognitive frailty in the literature have focused only on identifying associated factors and adverse outcomes, and their relationship with frailty and cognition. This study aimed to examine the effects of interventions on cognitive functions, frailty, and physical functions and provide an overview of intervention components used in older people with cognitive frailty. Methods: This is a systematic review and meta-analysis. Medline, PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, and Cochrane were searched for publishing during 2013–2021. Studies were selected based on the following eligibility criteria: 1) older people (age ≥ 60 years), 2) cognitive frailty, 3) outcomes on frailty or cognition or physical function, and 4) randomized controlled trial with any type of intervention. The Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale was used to rate the quality of the included studies. The review protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021251321). Results: Two thousand five hundred six studies were identified, 9 were eligible, and 8 were included in the meta-analysis. The standardized mean difference (Hedges G) between groups of cognitive functions was 0.95, frailty status was 0, physical function in walking was -1.67, and the physical function in core strength assessment was 3.39. Physical activity appeared as an essential component in all interventions for older people with cognitive frailty. Discussion: All interventions include physical activity as one of the components. Other components include cognitive training, nutrition education, behavioural intervention, mind–body intervention, psychosocial support, and virtual reality. The interventions are effective to promote cognitive and physical functions, but not physical frailty.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalEuropean Review of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Cognitive frailty
  • Intervention
  • Older adults
  • Review


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