Physical, cognitive interventions alleviate fatigue in older adults
Physical and cognitive nonpharmacological interventions help mitigate fatigue in older adults, although there is no lasting effect, as shown in a study.
Researchers accessed multiple electronic databases and conducted a systematic review of studies evaluating the immediate and long-term effects of nonpharmacological interventions on fatigue in community-dwelling older adults aged ≥60 years.
The meta-analysis included eight studies involving 1,093 participants with mean ages of 63.3–75.3 years. Of the studies, five were conducted in North America, and three studies were conducted in Australia, Iran and South Korea, respectively.
Pooled data revealed that nonpharmacological interventions yielded small-to-moderate immediate positive effects on fatigue, although the severity of fatigue was lower in the intervention group than in the control group (standardized mean difference, −0.40, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], −0.62 to −0.18); I2, 57 percent; p=0.02).
There was inconclusive data on whether the positive effects of interventions on fatigue might persist after 1 month. There was no significant difference in fatigue severity between the intervention group and the control group at 3 and 12 months postintervention.
The physical interventions included Tai Chi, whereas the cognitive/mental interventions consisted of cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness meditation, a behavioural lifestyle programme, pet insect-assisted therapy, yoga and muscle relaxation.
Additional studies with robust designs and adequate sample sizes are needed to draw definitive conclusions, the researchers said.