16 November 2018

Taking Charge of Your Body Naturally

Project Name: Evidence synthesis to guide practice in ageing population: Focusing on the Roles of Physical, Social and Cognitive Interventions.

Project Leader: Professor Dr. Lai Nai Ming

Project Duration: 4 years (2017-2021)

Co-Researchers: Emeritus Professor Dr. P. T. Thomas, Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, Shaun Lee Wen Huey, Sophia Rasheeqa Ismail. 

As the world ages, issues with the care of the older generation will become more important. The main issues faced by the ageing community are health and social. With that, there is a continuing need for research evaluating interventions created to improve the quality of life of the older person. Different types of programmes and institutes are set up for this purpose

Prof. Dr. Lai Nai Ming is leading a team investigating Evidence Synthesis to Guide Practice in the Ageing Population, focusing on the roles of Physical, Social and Cognitive Interventions. The work he leads are in the form of multiple systematic reviews, which involves screening, collecting, appraising and combining findings from individual studies of high quality.  The systematic reviews involve multinational collaboration between Malaysia, Australia, Thailand and a cross-institutional collaboration within Malaysia between Taylor’s University, Monash University and the Malaysian Ministry of Health, in particular the Institute for Medical Research. The topics that the team will focus on involves, the effects of dancing and yoga for cognitive and physical wellbeing; music therapy for dementia & sleep quality; the physical, emotional and cognitive effects of animal-assisted therapy; as well as measure to reduce social isolation in general of specific ageing population. 

Although this project covers a wide-range of topics, it is unique as it synthesizes of all available high- quality primary research, to provide a more powerful summary estimate, as well as interpretation on why certain primary studies have different results, something we will not appreciate when we only read the results of individual studies. Synthesised evidence is now the prime form of evidence used in informing health care practices, health policy making and directing future research. This research is the first of its kind in Malaysia to undertake such an elaborated evidence synthesis work on the three specific focused topics relating to ageing population. 

Prof. Lai and the teams hope to generate a clear conclusion on the effectiveness and safety of specific inventions. These inventions include animal-assisted therapy, dance therapy, music and physical activities for older adults, to provide high-quality reference for a wide range of decision makers, from guideline developers, government health policy makers to the very people that care for the elderly at home, in the community and in the assisted care settings like care homes or residences. 

Beginning in November 2017, the team is developing 3 subprojects – animal-assisted therapy for dementia, dancing for Parkinson’s Disease and music for sleep quality. This project will run for 4 years, as part of the flagship programme – Ageing & Quality of Life.

For more information on Professor Dr. Lai Nai Ming and the project, please contact via:

RMS Expert Link:

For more information on the flagship programme – Ageing & Quality of Life, click here.

Dr Lai Nai Ming
Doctor checking on patient
Professor Dr. Lai Nai Ming
Project Leader, Evidence synthesis to guide practice in ageing population: Focusing on the Roles of Physical, Social and Cognitive Interventions