(HealthDay News) — A holistic exercise program seems feasible and acceptable for people with dementia, according to a feasibility study published online April 25 in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

Yvonne J-Lyn Khoo, PhD, from Teesside University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues sought to determine the feasibility and acceptance of holistic exercise among people with dementia. Transcripts of audiotaped semi-structured interviews conducted with participants were analyzed to assess perceptions of the exercise program.

The researchers identified seven themes: enjoyment, relaxation, keeping active, social interaction, pain relief, learning something new, and intent to continue. All participants reported enjoying participating in the program and intended to continue.

“The results of the current small-scale study provide evidence for the feasibility and acceptance of holistic exercise for people with dementia,” the authors write. “In addition, participants appeared to benefit in terms of psychological and physical well-being.”

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