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Can older adults at risk of Alzheimer's disease adhere to a 24-month home-based physical activity program? The AIBL Active-Trial

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 22:32 authored by Cox, K, Cyarto, EV, Ellis, KA, Ames, D, Desmond, P, Phal, P, Matthew SharmanMatthew Sharman, Salvado, O, Szoeke, C, Lautenschlager, NT

Background: Increased physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive function. We investigated whether individuals with memory problems and additional cerebrovascular risk factors (CVD) could increase PA in the short-term and maintain adherence to a PA program in the long-term. We also examined factors influencing PA adherence.

Methods: The AIBL Active trial recruited participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or subjective memory complaints (SMC) and at least 1 CVD risk factor from The Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Aging (AIBL). They were randomly assigned to a control or PA group. The control group continued their usual PA throughout the study. The PA group was given a 24-month home-based program with a target of 150 minutes/week of moderate PA and a behavioral intervention. Scheduled group-specific phone calls (n¼18) and newsletters (n¼17) were administered to both groups over 24 months. The PA group recorded sessions in diaries and adherence was calculated from the number of sessions recorded expressed as the percentage of the sessions prescribed. At baseline, 6, 12 and 24 months participants completed fitness (6-minute walk distance); PA and PA self-efficacy (one’s confidence to be physically active) questionnaires; cognitive and health assessments.

Results: The adherence results for the PA group (n¼55) comprising of 53% women are reported. At baseline 24% were defined as inactive; men were significantly older than women; 74.7(6SD 5.6) versus 70.1(4.8) years respectively. Five participants did not start the intervention. After 24 months 96% were still in the study. After 6 months mean PA adherence was 83.5% and declined over the trial with mean 24-month adherence being 75.2%. Age, gender and MCI did not significantly influence adherence. Higher baseline self-effi- cacy (p<0.05) was associated with higher adherence in the first 6- months with higher baseline self-efficacy (p<0.05) and fitness (p<0.01) associated with higher 24-month adherence. Positive program enjoyment, helpfulness of the telephone calls and newsletters were reported by 94%; 98% and 93% of participants respectively.

Conclusions: The high retention and adherence rates in both the short and long-term demonstrate that this PA program was both achievable and acceptable in this target group.


National Health & Medical Research Council


Publication title

Alzheimer's & Dementia


13 (7) Supplement






School of Health Sciences


Elsevier Inc.

Place of publication

United States

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified

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