This proposal responds to PA-11-124 Translational Research to Help Older Adults Maintain Their Health and Independence in the Community (R21) and seeks support to test a web-based version of the evidence-based ACTIVE (Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly) memory training intervention for use by community organizations to promote memory health and fitness among the elderly. Memory loss is a major public health problem among community-living older adults, and is often associated with loss of independence, need for formal care, and institutionalization. Although there is growing evidence that small-group, trainer-led, paper-and-pencil based classes used in ACTIVE lead to significant cognitive gains and some improvement in everyday function, they offer few practice opportunities outside of class time, are limited in their ability to reach the growing population of older adults, and are not easily disseminated due to high costs of administration. The proposed use of online, interactive technology for this cognitive training is conceived as superior to the limited approach used in the original ACTIVE trial and in most previous training research. We propose to field test an online program called ACTIVE Memory Works (AMW) to help older adult users increase performance and monitor changes in memory and cognition and assess their effects on daily functional activities. The web- based AMW experimental intervention will: greatly reduce administrative costs compared with the paper-and- pencil form by incorporating automated data collection and analysis;provide automated scoring and reporting;increase engagement with context-sensitive coaching based on individual progress;and provide opportunities to evaluate a larger sample of categories and exemplars for memory tasks;and increase user-directed practice. This yields an overall design with the following key features: 1) a baseline assessment and randomization to a 10-session experimental intervention group, a 10-session experimental intervention plus 4-session booster group, or to a wait-list control condition, and 2) an immediate post-test and 6-month follow-up test. The use of the online format will make possible the widespread dissemination necessary to begin to make a difference in the lives of older adults interested in monitoring and maintaining their memory performance, cognitive vitality, and quality of life in the face of age-related memory impairments and begin to reduce the costs of institutionalization. Several community organizations are ready and able to participate.

Public Health Relevance

Memory loss is a major public health problem among community-living older adults, and is often associated with loss of independence, need for formal care, and institutionalization. Although there is growing evidence that small-group, trainer-led, paper-and-pencil based classes can lead to significant memory gains and some improvement in everyday function, they offer few practice opportunities outside of class time, are limited in their ability to reach the growing population of older adults, and are not easily disseminated due to the high costs of administration. This project proposes a web-based, interactive translation of the evidence-based Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) memory training intervention that can be disseminated to and by community organizations to help older adults interested in monitoring and maintaining their memory skills, cognitive vitality, and quality of life in the face of age-related memory impairment and help reduce the need for institutionalization.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
1R21AG042554-01A1
Application #
8510887
Study Section
Community-Level Health Promotion Study Section (CLHP)
Program Officer
Nielsen, Lisbeth
Project Start
2013-08-01
Project End
2015-05-31
Budget Start
2013-08-01
Budget End
2014-05-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$243,000
Indirect Cost
$93,000
Name
Johns Hopkins University
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
001910777
City
Baltimore
State
MD
Country
United States
Zip Code
21218