Encouraging lifestyle behaviour change in mild cognitive impairment patients: development of appropriate educational material

Charlotte E. Neville, Hannah J. McCourt, Michelle C. McKinley, Carole Lowis, Suzanne L. Barrett, Bernadette McGuinness, Stephen Todd, Brian Lawlor, Matthew Gibb, Robert F. Coen, Anthony P. Passmore, Jayne V. Woodside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: A healthy lifestyle may help maintain cognitive function and reduce the risk of developing dementia. This study employed a focus group approach in order to gain insight into opinions of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, caregivers (CG) and health professionals (HP) regarding lifestyle and its relationship with cognition. The qualitative data were used to design, develop and pilot test educational material (EM) to help encourage lifestyle behaviour change. Method: Data gathering phase: structured interviews were conducted with HP (n = 10), and focus groups with MCI patients (n = 24) and CG (n = 12). EM was developed and pilot tested with a new group of MCI patients (n = 21) and CG (n = 6). Results: HP alluded to the lack of clinical trial evidence for a lifestyle and MCI risk link. Although they felt that lifestyle modifications should be recommended to MCI patients, they appeared hesitant in communicating this information and discussions were often patient-driven. MCI patients lacked awareness of the lifestyle cognition link. Participants preferred EM to be concise, eye-catching and in written format, with personal delivery of information favoured. Most pilot testers approved of the EM but were heterogeneous in terms of lifestyle, willingness to change and support needed to change. Conclusion: MCI patients need to be made more aware of the importance of lifestyle for cognition. EM such as those developed here, which are specifically tailored for this population would be valuable for HP who, currently, appear reticent in initiating lifestyle-related discussions. Following further evaluation, the EM could be used in health promotion activities targeting MCI patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-286
Number of pages11
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number3
Early online date12 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2013


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Caregivers
  • Cognition
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Motor Activity
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
  • Program Development
  • Qualitative Research
  • Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine(all)

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