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Table 1 Characteristics of included studies

From: The effects of cognitive-motor training interventions on executive functions in older people: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eligible author and year Participants (age(M,SD), sex) Study aims Intervention (cognitive-motor task) Cognitive task and measurement Motor task and measurement Training duration
Randomised controlled trials
 Azadian (2016) [26] N = 30
IG1:n = 10, 73.9 ± 5.5, n.a.
IG2:n = 10, 73.8 ± 3.9, n.a.
CG:n = 10, 73.7 ± 4.4; n.a.
evaluation of the effect of two cognitive training methods on pattern of gait IG1: GDT
IG2: CT
CG: -
INH/PS (A-mo/Vi-mo): Reaction time to auditory stimulus/visual stimulus on screen;
WM: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Digit Symbol B/F
walking ST and DT condition: Vicon System, asymmetry index (AS) 18 h/ 3 × 45 min p.w. for 8 wk.
 Bacha (2018) [32] N = 46
IG: n = 23, 8 m/15f
CG: n = 23, 4 m/19f
effectiveness of KAG games versus CPT
to improve postural control, gait, fitness and cognition
IG1: EXG
CG: PHY
GF: MoCa Postural Control: Mini-BESTest;
Gait: FGA
Fitness: 6MST
14 h, 2 × 60 min p.w for 7 wk.
 Eggenberger (2015) [27] N = 89
IG1:n = 30, 77.3 ± 6.3,n.a.
IG2:n = 29, 78.5 ± 5.1,n.a. IG3:n = 30, 80.8 ± 4.7,n.a.
comparison of effects of physical MCT training to a stepping-based Exergame on cognition IG1:GDT-EXG (Stepmania)
IG2:GDT- EXG (Memory)
IG3:PHY (Walking)
EF/SH(vi-mo):TMT-B
WM: Paired-Associates Learning Task; ATT: Age concentration test A and B; PS (vi-mo) TMT-A, DSST and WAIS-R; GCF: MoCA
n.a. 36 h / 3 × 60 min p.w.
for 3 12 wk. / 24 wk.
 Eggenberger (2016) [33] N = 33;
IG:n = 19, 72.8 ± 5.9, 7 m/12f
CG:n = 14 77.8 ± 7.4,5 m/9f
effects of DT video game against conventional balance training on PFC activity during walking and on EF IG: GDT- EXG (Stepmania)
CG:ST (Balance)
EF/SH (vi-ma) TMT-B
ATT/ INH (vi-ma) Stroop test
GCF: MoCA
lower extremity function: SPPB 18 h / 3 × 30 min p.w. for 12 wk.
 Falbo (2016) [15] N = 36;
IG: n = 20,71.5 ± 6.7, 2 m/18f
CG: n = 16,73.7 ± 4.5, 2 m/14 f
benefits of a DT training specifically on EF compared to physical training with lower executive demands IG: GDT
CT: ST
EF (A-ve): verbal RNG Test
INH (A-ve) Turning point index, adjacency, runs
WM (A-ve): redundancy, coupon, repetition gap
walking ST and DT: speed, gait length and cadence recording with photocell system 24 h / 2 × 60 min p.w. for 12 wk.
 Hars (2014) [34] N = 134;
IG:n = 66,75 ± 8, 2 m/64f
CG: n = 68, 76 ± 6,3 m/65f
effects of a multi-task music based training on cognitive functioning and mood IG: GDT
CG: -
GCF (vi-ma): MMSE, CDT,
FAB
n.a. 25 h/ 2 × 30 min p.w. for 25 wk.
 Hiyamizu (2012) [35] N = 43;
IG: n = 21 71.2 ± 4.4,5 m/16f
CG: n = 22, 72.9 ± 5.1,12 m/10f
effects of a DT balance training on postural control while performing a cognitive task IG: GDT
CG:ST (balance and strength)
EF (vi-ma): TMT (B-A)
INH/ATT (vi-ve): Stroop task
Standing and walking, Chair Standing Test, TUGT, Functional Reach Test, COP displacements 24 h / 2 × 60 p.w. for 12 wk.
 Kitazawa (2015) [36] N = 60
G:n = 30, 76.8 ± 4.4, 17 m/13f,
CG: n = 30, 75.5 ± 3.7, 10 m/20f
effect of a net-stepping exercise on cognitive performance and gait function IG: GDT
CG: -
GCF: Touch Panel-Type Demetia Assesment Scale (TDAS) Mobility: TUG 8 h / 1 × 60 min p.w. for 8 wk.
 MacLean (2014) [37] N = 45;
IG1:n = 15,
73.2 ± 5.36,4 m/11f
IG2: n = 15, 69.1 ± 3.37,6 m/9f
IG3: n = 15, 72.9 ± 6.49,7 m/8f
effects of musical training on the gait and cognition in healthy older people IG1: GDT
IG2: ST
IG3: ST
GCF: MMSE;
EF/ SH/ PS: TMT A/B;
WM (ve) DS b/f; Immediate and delayed story recall
Gait (ST/DT conditions): velocity, stability n.a.
 Malliot (2012) [29] N = 32,
IG n = 16, 73.47 ± 4.10
CG n = 16, 73.47 ± 3.0;
5 m/27f
determine whether exergame training sport activity would show transfer to cognitive functions IG:GDT- EXG
CG: -
EF/INH/ ATT (vi-ve): Stroop Test, TMT A/B. Matrix Reasoning Test;
WM (vi-ve): Spatial Span Test b/f, Directional Headings, Mental Rotation Letter Digit,;
PS: cancellation test, number comparison test; PS(vi-ma): Reaction time test, Plate Tapping test
Heart rate (6 min walking); Chair Stand
8-ft-up and go; Arm curls, “back scratch”
12 h/ 1 × 60 min p.w. for 12 wk.
 Nishiguchi (2015) [38] N = 48
IG: n = 24, 73.0 ± 4.8, 13 m/11 fm
CG: n = 24, 73.5 ± 5.6, 13 m/11f
investigate whether a physical and cognitive program can improve cognitive function and brain activation efficiency in older people IG: GDT
CG: -
GCF: MMSE
WM: WMS-R
EF/ATT PS: (vi): TMT B-A, Go-No-Go-Stimulus, Test off attentional control
10-m walking test, TUGT, 5-CtST 18 h/ 1 × 90 minp.w. for 12 wk.
 Ordnung (2017) [30] N = 30
IG: n = 15, 69 ± 79 6.34, n.a.
CG: n = 15, 68 ± 4.67, n.a.
investigate the effect of a whole-body Exergame training intervention IG: GDT- EXG
CG:-
ATT/PS: Test of Attentional Performance;
WM (vi-ma): n-back task 2;
INH: Go/ No-Go-Stimulus
3 min. Step Test, upper body muscle endurance test, grip strength, hand motor skills; Motor RT: Ruler Drop Test, Balance (Balance Board) 12 h/ 2 × 60 min p.w. for 6 wk.
 Schaettin (2016) [39] N = 27; Mean 80
IG1: n = 13, 8 m/5f
IG2: n = 14, 80, 7 m/7f
compare Exergame training with conventional balance training IG1: SDT- EXG
IG2: Balance
EF (vi-ma):computerized TAP (WM, SHI, divided ATT, INH (Go−/No-Go-task)) n.a. 15 h/ 3 × 30 min p.w. for 10 wk.
 Schoene (2013) [31] N = 37
IG: n = 15, 77.5 ± 4.5, n.a.
CG; n = 17, 78.4 ± 4.5,n.a.
effects of a stepping exergae on stepping performance and associated fall risk IG: SDT- EXG
CG: -
PS (vi-mo): Choice Stepping Reaction time;
EF: TMT;
DTC:TUG-DT
Physiological Profile Assessment (Fall Risk); TUGT, 5STS, Alternate Step Test (AST 16 h/ 3 × 20 min p.w. for 16 wk.
 Schoene (2015) [40] N = 90
IG: n = 47, 82 ± 7, 66%f
CG: n = 43, 81 ± 7,67%f
effectiveness of step-based exercise game on cognitive functions associated with falls IG: SDT- EXG
CG: education brochure
EF(vi-mo): Stroop Stepping Test (SST);
PS/ATT (vi-mo): Letter-digit test, CRT + CSRT; TMT A, Attentional network test;
INH: Victoria Stroop Task DTC:TUG-DT; WM: Digit span B;
n.a. 16 h // 3 × 20 min p.w. for 16 wk.
 Wollesen (2017a) [41] N = 95
IG1: n = 26,72.2 ± 4.6,10 m/16f,
IG2: n = 30, 69.8 ± 5.7,2 m/28f
CG1: n = 19, 72.9 ± 4.4, m/12f .
CG2: n = 20, 72.7 ± 5.3, 3 m/17f
effects of a DT training in people with and without concern about falling on walking performance IG1: GDT (FES-I < 20)
IG2: GDT (FES-I > 20)
CG1: - (FES-I < 20)
CG2: - (FES-I > 20)
DT/ATT performance (vi-ve): Stroop Task Walking performance:
ST =30-s walking test
DT: 30-s-walking test + (vi-ve) Stroop Task
12 h1 × 60 min p.w. for 12 wk.
 Wollesen (2017b) [42] N = 78
IG1: n = 29,70.7 ± 4.9, 7 m/22f
IG2: n = 23, 71.7 ± 4.9,8 m/15f
CG: n = 26, 73.7 ± 5.0,7 m/19f
effects of a DT balancetraining and a ST strength and resistance training on motor performance during DT walking IG1: GDT
IG2: PHY (Strength and resistance)
CG: -
ATT/DT performance (au-ve): Stroop task while walking Walking performance: ST and DT conditions 12 h/ 1 × 60 min p.w. for 12 wk.
 You (2009) [43] N = 13
IG: n = 8,70.5 ± 6.8,2 m/11f
CG: n = 5, 68.0 ± 3.3, 1 m/4f
determine long-term practice effects of CGI on cognition and gait performance in older people with a history of falls IG: SDT
CG: ST (walking)
Memory recall (ve): memorise and recall words walking performance under DT conditions: velocity; stability; COP displacements 15 h/ 5 × 30 min p.w. for 6 wk.
Controlled clinical trials and other
 Ansai (2017) [25] N = 80;
IG: n = 41,68.5 ± 8.4, n.a.
CG:n = 39, 68.5 ± 6.3; n.a.
effects of the addition of a dual task to MCT on cognition IG: TDT (MCT + CT),
CG: MCT
GCF: MMSE, MoCA;
VS: CDT; EF (Ve-mo):
DTC: TUGT-DT memorising number and dialling while walking
TUGT: mobility 60 h/ 3 × 50 min p.w. for 12 wk.
 Bisson (2007) [44] N = 24;
IG1: n = 12; 74. ± 3.6,7 m/5f
IG2: n = 12, 74 ± 4.92,2 m/9f
determine the effect of VR and BF training on balance and reaction time in older people IG1: GDT- EXG (VR)
IG2: GDT- EXG (BF)
PS (au-ve): verbal reaction to auditory cue COP displacement; CB&M Scale 10 h/ 2 × 30 min p.w. for 10 wk.
 Chuang (2015) [45] N = 26,
IG1:n = 7, 69.43 ± 3.82,
IG2:n = 11, 67.01 ± 1.67,
CG:n = 8, 68.25 ± 3.96; 26f/0 m
examine whether DDR training would exert similar effect on interference control as that brisk walking in elderly individual IG1: SDT- EXG (DDR)
IG2: ST (walking)
CG: -
EF (Vi-mo): reaction to visual stimulus on screen in reaction time/ms; EEG recording
INH: Flanker Test
n.a. 18 h/ 3 × 30 min p.w. for 12 wk.
 Heiden (2010) [46] N = 16, Mean Age 77
IG n = 9, 5 f/ 4 m
CG = 7, 6 f/ 1 m
Effects of a games-based balance training program on general fitness and attentional demands in postural control IG: GDT
CT: -
PS (A-Ve): reaction on auditory simulus CB&M Scale, 6 min walking, COP displacements (RMS) 8 h/ 2 × 30 min p.w. for 8 wk.
 Kayama (2014) [28] n = 41; > 65
IG: n = 26, n.a.
CG: n = 15, n.a.
whether or not a DT Thai Chi training program would effectively improve cognitive functions IG: ST+ EXG (GDT Thai Chi)
CG: Standardised Training
EF/PS: TMT A/B
VF (ve): Verbal Fluency Task
n.a. 60 h/ 1 × 80 min p.w. for 12 wk.
 Morita (2018) [47] N = 19
IG: n = 8, 75.0 ± 1.5, 8 m,
CG: n = 11, 71.9 ± 4.0, 2 m/9f
effect of 2-year cognitive–motor dual-task (DT) training on cognitive functions and motor ability IG: GDT
CG: -
GCF: Modified Mini-Mental State(3MS)
PS/ATT (vi): TMT A/B
Quadriceps isometric muscle strength motor ability: TUGT, maximal step length (MSL) 104 h/ 1 × 60 min p.w. for 104 wk
 Theill (2013) [48] N = 63
IG1: n = 21, 72.39 ± 4.19,
IG2: n = 16, 73.33 ± 6.08,
CG: n = 26, 70.90 ± 4.77,
effects of simultaneously performed WM and PHY training on cognitive and motor-cognitive dual task performance IG1: GDT
IG2: ST (cognitive training)
CG: -
paired associates learning;
ATT (vi-ma): continuous performance task
EF:sequential learning
PS(vi-ma): Digit-letter task
WM (ve): n-nack task
Walking ST/DT conditions 13 h/ 2 × 40 min p.w. for 10 wk.
  1. Legend: Participants: IG intervention group, CG control group, f female, m male, MMSE Mini Mental Status Examination, MoCA Montreal Cognitive Assesment; Intervention: CL Cognitive load, KAG kinect adventures games, CPT conventional physical therapy, MT Motor task, MCT Multicomponent Training, DT Dual Tasking, ST Single Tasking, GDT General Dual-Tasking, SDT Specific Dual-Tasking, EXG Exergaming, CT Computerized training, VR Virtual Reality, BF Biofeedback, PHY Physical Training; Cognitive assessment:GCF Global cognitive function, PS Processing Speed, Sh Shifting, EF Executive Function, INH Inhibition, WM Working Memory, ATT Attention, VS Visuospatial, DTC Dual-Task Costs, Stimulus-response: A-Ve Auditory Verbal, A-ma auditory manual, Vi-Ve Visual-verbal, Vi-mo Visual-motor, Ve-mo Verbal-motor, Assessments: TUGT-DT Timed up and go test with dual tasking, motor task, TUGT Timed up and go test, TMT A/B Trail Marking test A/B, DS B/F Digit Symbol backwards/forwards, CSRT Choice Stepping Reaction Time, Training duration: p.w. per week., wk week
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