J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2022;9(2):376-384. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2022.12.
BACKGROUND: Several technical devices are available to monitor and promote changes in behavior toward higher activity. In particular, smartphones are becoming the primary platform for recognizing human activity. However, the effects of behavior change techniques that promote physical, cognitive, and social activities on incident dementia in older adults remain unknown.
OBJECTIVES: This randomized controlled trial aims to examine the effects of behavior change techniques on the prevention of dementia among community-dwelling older adults using a smartphone as a behavior change tool.
DESIGN: A randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: Community in Japan.
PARTICIPANTS: The study cohort comprises 3,498 individuals, aged ≥60 years, randomized into two groups: the smartphone group (n = 1,749) and the control group (n = 1,749).
INTERVENTION: The smartphone group will be asked to use smartphone applications for at least 30 minutes daily to self-manage and improve their physical, cognitive, and social activities. The smartphone group will perform 60-minute group walking sessions using application-linked Nordic walking poles with cognitive stimulation twice a week during the intervention period. The walking poles are a dual-task exercise tool that works with a smartphone to perform cognitive tasks while walking, and the poles are equipped with switches to answer questions for simple calculation and memory tasks. The smartphone and control groups will receive lectures about general health that will be provided during the baseline and follow-up assessments.
MEASUREMENTS: Incident dementia will be detected using cognitive tests (at baseline, after 15 months, and after 30 months) and by preparing diagnostic monthly reports based on data from the Japanese Health Insurance System. Participants without dementia at baseline who will be diagnosed with dementia over the 30-month follow-up period will be considered to have incident dementia.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has the potential to provide the first evidence of the effectiveness of information communication technology and Internet of Things in incident dementia. If our trial results show a delayed dementia onset for self-determination interventions, the study protocol will provide a cost-effective and safe method for maintaining healthy cognitive aging.