Effects of a comprehensive educational group intervention in older women with cognitive complaints: A randomized controlled trial

Esther Hoogenhout, Renate De Groot, Wim Van der Elst, Jelle Jolles

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    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: The current study presents a new comprehensive educational group intervention that offers psycho-education about cognitive aging and contextual factors (i.e., negative age stereotypes, beliefs, health, and lifestyle), focuses on skills and compensatory behavior, and incorporates group discussion. Its effects were investigated in community-dwelling older women who report normal age-related cognitive complaints. METHODS: A randomized controlled trial with an experimental and waiting list control condition was carried out in a sample of 50 women aged 60-75 years. As the main problem of these individuals were perceived cognitive deficits without actual cognitive decrements, metacognition served as the primary outcome measure. Objective cognitive functioning and psychological wellbeing were secondary outcome measures. A double baseline and a follow- up assessment were carried out. RESULTS: Participants in the experimental condition reported significantly fewer negative emotional reactions towards cognitive functioning (U = 164.500, p = .004). The reported effect size (δ = -.473) could be interpreted as large. CONCLUSIONS: This new comprehensive educational group intervention reduces negative emotional reactions towards cognitive functioning, which seems a prerequisite for improved subjective cognitive functioning and wellbeing. It can potentially contribute the wellbeing of an important and large group of older adults.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-144
    Number of pages10
    JournalAging & Mental Health
    Volume16
    Issue number2
    Early online date25 Jul 2011
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • cognitive aging
    • subjective forgetfulness
    • metacognition
    • intervention
    • outcome

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