174755 Promoting cognitive health: A formative research collaboration of the healthy aging research network

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 8:30 AM

James N. Laditka, DA, PhD, MPA , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Renee L. Beard, PhD , Institute for Health Research and Policy, M/C 275, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Lucinda Bryant, PhD , Dept. of Preventive Medicine & Biometrics, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO
David J. Fetterman, BA, MDiv, MEd , Center for Healthy Aging, University of Pittsburgh, PIttsburgh, PA
Rebecca H. Hunter, MEd , Center for Aging and Health, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Susan L. Ivey, MD, MHSA , Health Research for Action, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Rebecca G. Logsdon, PhD , School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Joseph R. Sharkey, PhD MPH RD , Program for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Bei Wu, PhD , West Virginia University, Center on Aging, Morgantown, WV
William Satariano, PhD , School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Growing evidence suggests healthy lifestyles may help maintain cognitive health, and notably reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. The Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN), a group of 9 universities working collaboratively with their communities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is conducting formative research to design public health interventions. In 2005, the HAN began a four-year project to investigate: attitudes about healthy aging and cognitive health; language used to describe cognitive health issues; and attitudes about behaviors that have been associated with cognitive health. This symposium provides the study rationale, design, and methods, as well as results representing views of a wide diversity of Americans. We examined the literature on promoting cognitive health, convened a national research meeting of experts in cognitive health and public health interventions, identified research questions, developed common focus group protocols and a corresponding survey, recruited and conducted focus groups, and analyzed resulting data. For results reported in this symposium, we conducted 52 focus groups with 446 participants in 2005-2006, and 28 focus groups and in-depth interviews with 168 participants in 2006-2007. Focus groups were in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese, and represented African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, caregivers, physicians, individuals with cognitive impairment, and rural and urban residents. The qualitative and quantitative data provide a wealth of opportunities for better understanding healthy aging in the context of cognitive health, and for designing effective public health interventions for promoting cognitive health among diverse populations.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify attitudes about brain health among diverse populations. 2. Articulate ways that health promotion efforts may best help individuals and communities adopt behaviors associate with brain health. 3. Describe healthy aging in the context of cognitive health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator of a 4-year CDC-sponsored project on cognitive health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.