Circle Dance for Family Caregivers of the Elderly With Alzheimer.


The primary objective of this research is to compare the effects of a 12-week CircleCare on physical functioning of family caregivers of the elderly with AD. Effects on cognition, psychosocial and frailty-related aspects (secondary objective). The acute effect of one circle dance session on mood states (tertiary objective). This randomized controlled trial will involve 40 family caregivers over 50 years old allocated into a control group or an intervention group of 12-weeks (twice a week, 60 min per session) of CircleCare. Primary outcomes will include balance, speed of gait, lower limb muscle strength, functional mobility and risk of falls. Secondary outcomes will include cognition, burden, stress, depression, quality of life and frailty. Mood states will be a tertiary outcome. The effects of CircleCare will be verified with an ANOVA two-way test and a multiple comparison test when necessary. The analyzes will follow an intention-to-treat approach. The change in moods will be evaluated by the paired t-test. The level of significance will be set at p<0.05. This study may guide professionals and health policymakers in deciding whether to implement this type of intervention. If positive effects are demonstrated, this program can be offered in public health services to other groups, given its low cost.

Full Title of Study: “Brazilian Circle Dance Program for Family Caregivers of the Elderly With Alzheimer’s Disease (CircleCare): a Single-blind, Parallel-group Randomized Controlled Trial”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
    • Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: June 14, 2019


  • Other: Circle Dance Program (CircleCare)
    • Circle Dances derives from folk dances, but their current repertoire encompasses traditional and contemporary dances from diverse nations and cultures around the world. Most of the choreographies are danced with the participants placed in a circle, holding hands, repeating a pattern of steps to the rhythm of the music.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Circle Dance Program (CircleCare)
    • Caregivers (n=20) allocated to the experimental group will participate in 12-week CircleCare twice a week (24 sessions), for 60 min each session. The planning and conduction of the intervention will be the responsibility of the researcher, a Fitness Professional with training in Circle Dance, called focalizer.
  • No Intervention: Control group
    • Caregivers (n=20) of this group will not receive the intervention, participating only in the assessment protocol. They will be instructed not to initiate any regular exercise program during the study period. At the end of the study, the same CircleCare applied to the experimental group will be offered to the interested of the control group.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Brazilian Version of the Short Physical Performance Battery
    • Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks after randomization.
    • Battery tests that evaluate the static balance; the speed of gait and lower limb muscle strength. Each test ranges from zero to four points, and the total score is obtained by summing the score of each test, ranging from zero to 12 points. The result can receive the following graduation: 0 to 3 points: incapacity or very poor performance; 4 to 6 points: low performance; 7 to 9 points: moderate performance; 10 to 12 points: good performance.
  • Timed Up and Go Test
    • Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks after randomization.
    • Test that evaluates the basic functional mobility through the time spent to get up from a chair with arms, walk 3 meters and return to the chair, as well as the number of steps required to perform the activity. The shorter the time to perform the task, the better the mobility index. The 12.47 second cutoff point will be used as an indicator of the risk of falls.

Secondary Measures

  • Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination-Revised (ACE-R)
    • Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks after randomization
    • Portuguese version of the Instrument that evaluates the global cognitive function through individual tests of orientation and attention (18 points), memory (26 points), verbal fluency (14 points), language (26 points) and spatial visibility skills (16 points). The overall score ranges from zero to 100 points.
  • Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI)
    • Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks after randomization
    • An instrument that evaluates the physical, psychological and social impact of the task of caring for a patient with mental illness. The scale is composed of 22 questions, whose scores can range from 0 to 88 points. A score below 21 points is classified as no burden; of 21 and 40 points indicate a moderate burden; between 41 to 60, moderate to severe burden and ≥ 61 points, a severe burden.
  • Brazilian Perceived Stress Scale (BPSS-10)
    • Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks after randomization
    • PSS-10 is used to assess the level of stress perceived by older adults in the last month. The final score ranges from 0 to 40, with higher scores denoting a greater degree of perceived stress.
  • Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15)
    • Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks after randomization
    • Scale composed of 15 negative/affirmative questions that evaluate the presence of depressive symptoms in the elderly. Scores higher than 5 points indicate the risk of depression.
  • Quality of Life Scale in Alzheimer’s disease (QoL-AD – caregiver’s version)
    • Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks after randomization
    • Scale structured in three versions that relate to the quality of life of the elderly, careAn instrument adapted, translated and validated for the Brazilian culture to assess the quality of life of caregivers and elderly with AD. In this version the caregiver to assess his/her own quality of life. The score ranges from 13 to 52 points and the lower the score worse is the quality of life.
  • Frailty Phenotype
    • Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks after randomization
    • A battery of tests proposed by Fried et al. (2001) that asses unintentional weight loss (10 lbs in the past year), self-reported exhaustion, weakness (grip strength), slow walking speed, and low physical activity. Participants with three or more criteria will be classified as frail. Those with one or two criteria, pre-frail. “No frail” will correspond to the absence of these criteria.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • 50 years or older. – Family caregiver for at least 6 months of an elderly person with Alzheimer's disease. – Ability to walk without the help of another person. Exclusion Criteria:

  • Cardiopulmonary or orthopaedic contraindication to the practice of physical exercise. – Severe visual or hearing deficiency that impedes participation in the intervention and assessments.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 50 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos
  • Collaborator
    • Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior.
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Julimara Gomes dos Santos, Principal Investigator – Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Julimara G Santos, PhD Student, +5533991132227,

Clinical trials entries are delivered from the US National Institutes of Health and are not reviewed separately by this site. Please see the identifier information above for retrieving further details from the government database.

At, we keep tabs on over 200,000 clinical trials in the US and abroad, using medical data supplied directly by the US National Institutes of Health. Please see the About and Contact page for details.