Changes in physical activity and nutrition in a behavioral intervention pilot study - passport to brain wellness [abstract] Abstract uri icon
  • Background/Aims: Increasing concerns about cognitive decline and dementia in the aging populations of most westernized countries suggests the need for interventions that can preserve cognitive function, are cost-effective, and feasibly implemented on a large scale. Empirical evidence is accumulating that points to the potential beneficial effects of cardiovascular fitness, healthy diet, social integration and participation in cognitively stimulating activities in the maintenance of cognitive function. We have developed and pilot tested "Passport," a multi-component, cognitive-behavioral, phone and mail-based intervention to promote such lifestyle changes in older adults. Methods: Cognitively intact (TICS >/= 31), sedentary (<90 min physical activity[PA] per week) adults aged 61-80 years were recruited from among HealthPartners' members. Baseline assessments included cognitive function, biomarkers, lifestyle factors, and physical traits. In the first phase, 21 participants were recruited and all assigned (non-randomized) to receive a course book, pedometer, tool kit and 7 bi-weekly phone coaching calls. In the second phase, 42 participants were recruited and randomized to either the Guided Intervention (n=22) or a Self-Directed (n=20) group, who received the study materials but no coaching. We completed 6 month follow-up measures with 58 (92%) subjects, and report here on their PA and nutritional outcomes. Results: The 63 enrolled subjects were female (60%), 70 years old, highly educated (73% college or more), predominantly retired (81%), non-Hispanic White (71%;) and married (65%). On average, they were overweight, BMI M=29.8, normotensive, systolic BP M=122.8, and normocholesterolemic, total serum cholesterol M=189.3. Mixed-model analyses indicated a time*treatment group effect on objectively monitored MVPA (p<.05), with a significant increase in the guided group (7.3 to 16.5mins/day, p<.05). We observed a significant effect of time on saturated fat intake (p<.05), with a significant pre-post reduction among Guided participants (26.1 to 23.4 grams, p<.05). Similar patterns of effects were observed for intake of fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber. Finally, we observed a time effect on intake of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, driven by an increase in the non-randomized group (p<.05). Conclusions: Passport shows promise for improving aspects of lifestyle behaviors hypothesized to be important for the primary prevention of cognitive decline in older adults.

  • publication date
  • 2010
  • published in
  • Aging and Geriatrics
  • Behavior Change
  • Brain
  • Dementia
  • Diet
  • Health Promotion
  • Physical Activity
  • Prevention
  • Additional Document Info
  • 8
  • issue
  • 3-4