Last updated on October 2018

Pilot Study of the Effects of Playing Golf on People With Dementia

Brief description of study

The research question for this study is whether golf is a suitable physical activity for people with dementia (PWD). It follows a qualitative pilot study in Lincoln where PWD enjoyed the activity and caregivers appreciated the service. Golf combines many desirable elements in a physical activity programme that include being outdoors, social, cognitively challenging, no reaction-time component, and being a typical everyday activity. The length of time that golf sessions last could also offer a potential respite from care for caregivers.

Participants will be people with dementia and their caregivers. Eligibility criteria will include having been clinically diagnosed with dementia, being able to stand on one leg for at least six seconds to ensure participants are able to balance sufficiently well to be able to play golf. The study will be undertaken at The London Shire Golf Club, with the golf training provided by the Golf Trust, which is a charitable foundation experienced in providing golf training to people with a range of different disabilities.

The randomised controlled trial study will last 16 weeks, with a partial crossover design. The experimental group with have two eight-week periods of golf while the control group will have eight weeks without golf, then the golf intervention. There will be two 150-min sessions each week, starting with 30 minutes socialising, then 90 minutes playing golf, then 30 minutes socialising. The golf sessions will progress from putting, to chipping, and then a full swing, with sessions taking place on a nine-hole golf course. Participants will be evaluated before and after each eight-week period for physical function, physical activity level, cognitive function, and quality of life. Their caregivers will also provide information related to the PWD in terms of quality of life and psychopathology in dementia, as well as their own quality of life.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03462485

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