Sport Science

Belala GrDr. Nacera Wolf-Belala - Sport Science M.Sc.
Network Aging Research
Bergheimer Straße 20
D-69115 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0)6221 54 8109
Fellows: Prof. Dr. Clemens Becker, Dr. Michael Schwenk


Dementia-specific Early rehabilitation in the Acute Care Hospital – Development of an Early Rehabilitation and Transitional Intervention Program for Preventing the Loss of Functionality in Dementia Patients

Patients with cognitive impairments are particularly vulnerable to a deterioration in their functional status during a hospital stay. It is therefore necessary to counteract the latter by means of suitable structures and interventions in order to preserve the quality of life and autonomy of the persons concerned and to reduce the burden of care for relatives and nurses. Due to the increasing numbers of this group of patients, which are connected with the demographic change in Germany, the care expenditure for nursing and therapy staff in hospitals is higher. The functional loss of the patients is an aggravating factor which leads to falls and further complications in rehabilitation. And also following the hospital stay, this loss of functionality in dementia patients leads three times more frequently to a discharge to a nursing home than in cognitively healthy patients. Based on this background, the goal of the dissertation is to develop an early-rehabilitation intervention, which trains the physical abilities of the patients, is resource-efficient and applicable beyond the acute station. The focus lies on a new type of intervention, which has already been successfully used in other contexts, but for the first time is going to be developed and evaluated for hospital patients who are suffering from dementia as a comorbidity.



  • Belala, N., Maier, C., Heldmann, P., Schwenk, M., & Becker, C. (2019). A pilot observational study to analyze (in)activity and reasons for sedentary behavior of cognitively impaired geriatric acute inpatients [Eine Pilotbeobachtungsstudie zur Analyse von (In‑)Aktivität und Gründen sedentären Verhaltens kognitiv eingeschränkter, geriatrischer Akutpatienten]. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 52(Suppl 4), 273–281.
  • Belala, N., Schwenk, M., Kroog, A., & Becker, C. (2019). Feasibility of the lifestyle integrated functional exercise concept in cognitively impaired geriatric rehabilitation patients [Machbarkeit des Lifestyle-Integrated-Functional-Exercise-Konzeptes bei kognitiv eingeschränkten geriatrischen Rehabilitationspatienten]. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 52(1), 61–67.
  • Heldmann, P., Werner, C., Belala, N., Bauer, J. M., & Hauer, K. (2019). Early inpatient rehabilitation for acutely hospitalized older patients: a systematic review of outcome measures. BMC Geriatrics, 19(1), 189.
  • Belala, N., Schwenk, M., Kroog, A., & Becker, C. (2018). Erratum to: Feasibility of the lifestyle integrated functional exercise concept in cognitively impaired geriatric rehabilitation patients. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 51(7), 843.
  • Weber, M., Belala, N., Clemson, L., Boulton, E., Hawley-Hague, H., Becker, C., & Schwenk, M. (2018). Feasibility and Effectiveness of Intervention Programmes Integrating Functional Exercise into Daily Life of Older Adults: A Systematic Review. Switzerland.



2016 - 2021 Member of the Graduate Program „People with Dementia in Acute-care Hospitals”, Heidelberg University
2015 - 2016 Sports referent, KSB Nienburg e.V.
2014 - 2015 Research assistant at the Department of Sports Science, Hildesheim University
2013 - 2014 Student Assistant at the Department of Sports psychology, Potsdam University
2012 - 2014 Master of Science in Sports Science, Potsdam University
2009 - 2012 Bachelor of Arts in Sports Science and English, Hildesheim University








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Latest Revision: 2022-12-29
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