Changes in physical activity and nutrition in a behavioral intervention pilot study: Passport to Brain Wellness Conference Paper uri icon
  • Purpose: Empirical evidence suggests potential benefits of cardiovascular fitness, healthy diet, social integration and participation in cognitively stimulating activities for maintaining cognitive function. We have developed and pilot tested a cognitive-behavioral, phone and mail based intervention to promote such lifestyle changes in older adults.
    Methods: Cognitively intact, sedentary adults aged 61-80 years recruited from HealthPartners¬Āf membership. Baseline assessments included cognitive function, biomarkers, lifestyle factors, and physical traits. In phase one, 21 participants were recruited and assigned (non-randomized) to receive a coursebook, pedometer, tool kit and 7 bi-weekly phone coaching calls. In phase two, 42 participants were recruited and randomized to either the Guided Intervention (n=22) or a Self-Directed (n=20) group, who received intervention materials but no coaching. We completed 6 month follow-up measures with 58 (92%) subjects.
    Results: Enrolled subjects (N=63) were female (60%), 70 years old, highly educated (73%), retired (81%), non-Hispanic White (71%;) married (65%), overweight, normotensive and normocholesterolemic. Mixedmodel analyses indicated a time*treatment group effect on objectively monitored MVPA (p<.05), with a significant increase in the guided group. We find a significant effect of time on saturated fat intake (p<.05), with a pre-post reduction among Guided participants. Similar patterns 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 lifestyle behaviors hypothesized as important for the primary prevention of cognitive decline in older adults.

  • publication date
  • 2010
  • Research
  • Aging and Geriatrics
  • Behavior Change
  • Brain
  • Dementia
  • Diet
  • Health Promotion
  • Physical Activity
  • Prevention