Promoting cognitive health: a formative research collaboration of the healthy aging research network. Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: Evidence suggests that healthy lifestyles may help maintain cognitive health. The Prevention Research Centers Healthy Aging Research Network, 9 universities collaborating with their communities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is conducting a multiyear research project, begun in 2005, to understand how to translate this knowledge into public health interventions. DESIGN AND METHODS: This article provides an overview of the study purpose, design, methods, and processes. We examined the literature on promoting cognitive health, convened a meeting of experts in cognitive health and public health interventions, identified research questions, developed a common focus group protocol and survey, established quality control and quality assurance processes, conducted focus groups, and analyzed the resulting data. RESULTS: We conducted 55 focus groups with 450 participants in 2005-2007, and an additional 20 focus groups and in-depth interviews in 2007-2008. Focus groups were in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese, with African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics, non-Hispanic Whites, physicians and other health practitioners, rural and urban residents, individuals caring for family or friends with cognitive impairment, and cognitively impaired individuals. IMPLICATIONS: The data provide a wealth of opportunities for designing public health interventions to promote cognitive health in diverse populations.

published proceedings

  • Gerontologist

author list (cited authors)

  • Laditka, J. N., Beard, R. L., Bryant, L. L., Fetterman, D., Hunter, R., Ivey, S., ... Wu, B.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Laditka, James N||Beard, RenĂ©e L||Bryant, Lucinda L||Fetterman, David||Hunter, Rebecca||Ivey, Susan||Logsdon, Rebecca G||Sharkey, Joseph R||Wu, Bei

publication date

  • June 2009