Physical Function | Physical Exercise and Jaques-Dalcroze Eurhythmics: Effects on Physical and Cognitive Functions, and Falls in Seniors

Physical Function research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and the possible mechanisms underlying music-based multitask training (i.e., Jaques-Dalcroze eurhythmics) in older people, compared to multicomponent exercise training. This study is designed as a 12-month, prospective, single-centre, single-blind, 2-arm, parallel group, randomized controlled trial in which 140 community-dwelling older adults at high risk of falls are randomly assigned to receive either a music-based multitask training intervention (i.e., Jaques-Dalcroze eurhythmics) or a multicomponent exercise training intervention, for 12 months. A 12-month follow-up is planned with outcome measures assessed at three time points: baseline (before intervention initiation), 6-month (intervention mid-point), and 12-month (intervention termination). Outcomes of interest include physical and cognitive performances, and falls. In addition, the investigators specifically address brain circuits in an exploratory sub-study. Volunteer trial participants from both study arms are invited to undergo functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at baseline and 12-month.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - aged ≥ 65 years (no upper age limit) - living in the community, even in protected housing - identified as being at high risk of falls (i.e., one or more self-reported falls after the age of 65 years or balance impairment as assessed by a simplified Tinetti test or presence of one or two indicators of physical frailty based on Fried's criteria) - willing to comply with all study requirements Exclusion Criteria: - neurological or orthopaedic disease (e.g., stroke with residual motor deficit, Parkinson's disease) with a significant impact on gait and balance performances - fully dependent on a technical aid for walking such as canes or walker - diagnosis of dementia based on a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment - participation in a Jaques-Dalcroze Eurhythmics program or a supervised multicomponent exercise program in the past 12 months - serious medical conditions or other factors that may limit adherence to interventions or affect conduct of the trial (e.g., terminal illness)

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Physical Function

Cognitive Function


Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Behavioral:Jaques-Dalcroze eurhythmics training12 months of weekly, supervised, structured, progressive, 60-min music-based multitask exercise classes (i.e., Jaques-Dalcroze eurhythmics). The music-based multitask program includes all exercises used in a previous work.

Behavioral:Multicomponent exercise training12 months of weekly, i) supervised, structured, progressive, 60-min multicomponent exercise classes, supplemented by ii) 30-min home-based exercise sessions. Briefly, the multimodal exercise program is based on core components for successful fall prevention in older adults. It contains balance, gait, coordination and strength training, with balance as a core component.

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

Jaques-Dalcroze eurhythmics trainingOnce-weekly 60-min Jaques-Dalcroze eurhythmics class, for 12 months.

Multicomponent exercise trainingOnce-weekly 60-min multicomponent exercise class supplemented by one 30-min home-based exercise session, for 12 months.

Study Status


Start Date: February 2013

Completed Date: May 2015

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Change in gait variability under dual-task condition

Secondary Outcome: Change in gait performances (quantitative gait analysis under single and dual-task conditions)

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Andrea Trombetti, MD

Lead Sponsor: University Hospital, Geneva


More information:

Trombetti A, Hars M, Herrmann FR, Kressig RW, Ferrari S, Rizzoli R. Effect of music-based multitask training on gait, balance, and fall risk in elderly people: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2011 Mar 28;171(6):525-33. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.446. Epub 2010 Nov 22.

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