The Feasibility of a Combined Lifestyle Physical Activity and Cognitive Training Intervention to Prevent Cognitive Impairment in Older Women With Cardiovascular Disease

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Background: Cognitive impairment disproportionately affects older women with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Physical activity (PA) and cognitive training (CT) may have synergistic effects in combined interventions. However, no combined intervention has targeted women with CVD or utilized a sustainable and preferable lifestyle approach. The purpose was to test feasibility and acceptability of the 24-week MindMoves program, a lifestyle intervention that combined PA and CT developed for older women with CVD. Methods: The PA component included goal setting with Fitbits and 5 behavioral group meetings. The CT component was evidence-based BrainHQ delivered on a tablet in three 30-minute weekly sessions. Participants included 10 women aged ≥65 years with CVD. Exclusion criteria were cognitive impairment, regular PA, and CT use. Measures were feasibility (recruitment, attendance, participation, retention, and acceptability), change in PA (Fitbit min/steps), and change in cognitive function (NIH Toolbox®). Results: Of the 10 participants, 70% attended ≥4/5 group meetings, and overall attendance was 76%. Participants completed 2.3/3 CT sessions weekly. Participant retention was 100%. Over 90% of participants rated MindMoves with the highest levels of satisfaction. Participants had significant improvements in steps, light PA, and moderate PA, and there was a trend for improved cognition. Conclusions: Findings support testing MindMoves in an efficacy trial.

Halloway, Wilbur, Braun, and Schoeny are with the Rush University College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, IL, USA. Volgman is with the Rush Medical College, Rush University, Chicago, IL, USA.

Halloway (Shannon_Halloway@rush.edu) is corresponding author.
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