Physical Activity guidelines for older adults with subjective cognitive decline or mild cognitive impairment

Project Researchers Prof. Kaarin J Anstey, Prof Dimity Pond, A/Prof Kathryn Ellis, B. Dow, Prof Keith Hill, A/Prof Kay Cox

Year: July 1, 2016


Program Overview:

This knowledge translation project aims to produce evidence based physical activity (PA) guidelines for older adults with Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). In several developed countries, including Australia, there are PA guidelines for the general older population.

Amongst the older age group there are a growing number of particularly vulnerable members of the community who because of their declining memory and cognitive skills may not be able to understand or implement these guidelines. They may also be limited in their ability to access programs available to cognitively healthy older adults. We believe that the growing accumulation of evidence to support the potential protective effect of PA on cognitive function in older adults with SCD and MCI is at a stage where it is ready for a systematic evaluation to inform and provide a strong foundation for PA guidelines specifically targeted to older adults with SCD and MCI. These targeted guidelines are also necessary to better inform the families of community members with SCD and MCI as well as health care providers and community groups providing PA programs for older adults.

A multidisciplinary team of investigators will review the evidence in the literature and use the AGREE II methodology to draft the guidelines. Depending on this first step of the process completely new guidelines will be developed or the ADAPTE methodology will be used subsequently to modify an existing PA guideline with incorporating the specific SCD and MCI relevant focus.

It is anticipated that this focus will include attention to:

  • the amount and types of PA
  • location, frequency, intensity, duration of PA
  • the vulnerabilities and preferences of people with SCD and MCI
  • barriers and motivations for PA
  • strategies for behavioural change
  • how can consumers best determine whether the PA they do at the moment is sufficient
  • information on how to get started
  • safety advice
  • where are the knowledge gaps and what further research and KT activities are needed
  • utilisation and dissemination in the community

Successful DCRC grant recipient 2016

Other team members:

A/Prof Briony Dow, National Ageing Research Institute;
Dr Diane Hosking, Australian National University;
Dr Terence Chong, University of Melbourne