Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Feedback from Middle-Aged Participants in a Multi-Domain Lifestyle Intervention for Alzheimer's Prevention: The Gray Matters Study

Class

Article

Department

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Faculty Mentor

Maria Norton

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Background: Research indicates that the neurodegenerative process of Alzheimer's disease may begin in middle adulthood. Nevertheless, most prevention studies target adults 65+ or those with mild cognitive impairment. Accordingly, we created the Gray MattersRCT pilot study to test an evidence-based, multi-domain lifestyle intervention among middle-aged persons with normal cognition, designed to encourage healthy lifestyle behavior changes. Methods: The six-month Gray Matters intervention utilized a custom smartphone app, wearable activity monitor and booster events/classes targeting physical activity, food choices, social engagement, cognitive stimulation, sleep quality and stress management, all associated with lowering Alzheimer's risk. A feedback survey covering a range of quantitative measures and a series of open-ended questions was administered to treatment group participants. 83 of 100 participants responded;, average age was 54.8 (SD-6.7) years, 35% were male, 98% were Caucasian and 82% held college degrees. Results: Participants reported regularly using study-associated technology over the 6-month period: Nike Fuelband (M = 5.51 months, 6.78 days/week, 8.04 times/day); Smartphone app (M = 5.38 months, 5.98 days/week, 1.94 times/day); study website (M = 3.20 months, 1.40 days/week, 0.53 times/day). Participants reported attendance at 0-12 of 39 booster events (M=2.2, SD=3.0) and communicating with coaches 0-5 times/month (M=1.6, SD=1.5); however, 47.0% of participants deemed this ineffective, 24.1% as somewhat effective and only 13.3% as very effective. Overall, participants reported that: (a) the Fuel Band had a "great deal of" (34.9%) or "some" (41.0%) effect; (b) the smartphone app had a "great deal of" (30.1%) or "some" (47.0%) effect; (c) the study website had a "great deal of" (8.4%) or "some" (42.2%) effect; (d) personal coaches had a "great deal of" (7.2%) or "some" (21.7%) effect; and (e) booster events had a "great deal of" (20.5%) or "some" (39.8%) effect. Open-ended survey responses recommended improvements in technology training, coaching, access to lab results and initial study orientation. Conclusions: Results indicated that treatment group participants received the Gray Matters intervention positively, manifesting high levels of engagement with study protocols and technology adoption. Future analyses will consider how user experiences and intervention "dosage" is associated with lifestyle changes made over the intervention period.

Start Date

4-9-2015 1:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM

Feedback from Middle-Aged Participants in a Multi-Domain Lifestyle Intervention for Alzheimer's Prevention: The Gray Matters Study

Background: Research indicates that the neurodegenerative process of Alzheimer's disease may begin in middle adulthood. Nevertheless, most prevention studies target adults 65+ or those with mild cognitive impairment. Accordingly, we created the Gray MattersRCT pilot study to test an evidence-based, multi-domain lifestyle intervention among middle-aged persons with normal cognition, designed to encourage healthy lifestyle behavior changes. Methods: The six-month Gray Matters intervention utilized a custom smartphone app, wearable activity monitor and booster events/classes targeting physical activity, food choices, social engagement, cognitive stimulation, sleep quality and stress management, all associated with lowering Alzheimer's risk. A feedback survey covering a range of quantitative measures and a series of open-ended questions was administered to treatment group participants. 83 of 100 participants responded;, average age was 54.8 (SD-6.7) years, 35% were male, 98% were Caucasian and 82% held college degrees. Results: Participants reported regularly using study-associated technology over the 6-month period: Nike Fuelband (M = 5.51 months, 6.78 days/week, 8.04 times/day); Smartphone app (M = 5.38 months, 5.98 days/week, 1.94 times/day); study website (M = 3.20 months, 1.40 days/week, 0.53 times/day). Participants reported attendance at 0-12 of 39 booster events (M=2.2, SD=3.0) and communicating with coaches 0-5 times/month (M=1.6, SD=1.5); however, 47.0% of participants deemed this ineffective, 24.1% as somewhat effective and only 13.3% as very effective. Overall, participants reported that: (a) the Fuel Band had a "great deal of" (34.9%) or "some" (41.0%) effect; (b) the smartphone app had a "great deal of" (30.1%) or "some" (47.0%) effect; (c) the study website had a "great deal of" (8.4%) or "some" (42.2%) effect; (d) personal coaches had a "great deal of" (7.2%) or "some" (21.7%) effect; and (e) booster events had a "great deal of" (20.5%) or "some" (39.8%) effect. Open-ended survey responses recommended improvements in technology training, coaching, access to lab results and initial study orientation. Conclusions: Results indicated that treatment group participants received the Gray Matters intervention positively, manifesting high levels of engagement with study protocols and technology adoption. Future analyses will consider how user experiences and intervention "dosage" is associated with lifestyle changes made over the intervention period.