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Telerabilitation as an alternative to pandemic COVID-19 and its effects on functional capacity, mental health and quality of life of older people with Alzheimer's disease: a randomized and controlled clinical trial

Abstract

The emergence and increasing incidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome - coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), presents unprecedented new challenges to clinical practice and research worldwide. Social distancing has been an effective measure to control the rate of viral transmission and studies predicted that social distancing might be prolonged or intermittent until 2022. The populations with the highest mortality due to COVID-19 are older people and vulnerable people. Older people with comorbidities due to primary neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their caregivers, deserve special attention in this pandemic scenario. Telerehabilitation (RT) can be remote alternatives of clinical and professional support for people with AD and their caregivers. Objective: To analyze the characteristics and effects of a telerehabilitation program on mental health, functional capacity and quality of life statuses of people with AD and their caregivers that will be undertaken during social distancing due to COVID-19. Methods: Forty-eight people with AD (mild and moderate stage) and their caregivers will be invited to answer a structured questionnaire in regards of social distancing and also will be evaluated for mental health, functional capacity and quality of life. The volunteers will be randomized and allocated into two groups, Telerehabilitation and Control and followed for 12 weeks. Participants will be assessed at baseline, immediately after (week 13) and follow-up (week 24). Expected results: It is expected that people with AD and their caregivers will present high adherence to the telerehabilitation program and the program will be beneficial at improving their mental health, functional capacity and quality of life statuses. (AU)

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