Objective: We describe the study design, recruitment process, and baseline participant characteristics of the sample in the Virtual Cognitive Health (VC Health) study. Future analyses will assess the impact of the remotely delivered lifestyle intervention on (1) cognitive function, (2) depression and anxiety, and (3) various lifestyle behaviors, including diet, exercise, and sleep, in a cohort of older adults with subjective memory decline. Additional analyses will explore feasibility outcomes, as well as the participants’ engagement patterns with the program.
Methods: Older adults (aged 60-75 years) with subjective memory decline as measured by the Subjective Cognitive Decline 9-item (SCD-9) questionnaire, and who reported feeling worried about their memory decline, were eligible to participate in this single-arm pre-post study. All participants enrolled in the yearlong digital intervention, which consists of health coach-guided lifestyle change for improving diet, exercise, sleep, stress, and cognition. All components of this study were conducted remotely, including the collection of data and the administration of the intervention. We assessed participants at baseline, 12 weeks, 24 weeks, and 52 weeks with online surveys and the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) test. We will conduct intention-to-treat analysis on all outcomes.
Results: A total of 85 participants enrolled in the intervention and 82 are included in the study sample (3 participants withdrew). The study cohort of 82 participants comprises 61 (74%) female, 72 (88%) white, and 64 (78%) overweight or obese participants, and 55 (67%) have at least a college degree. The average baseline RBANS score was 95.9 (SD 11.1), which is within age-adjusted norms. The average SCD-9 score was 6.0 (SD 2.0), indicating minor subjective cognitive impairment at the beginning of the study. The average baseline Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale score was 6.2 (SD 4.5), and the average Patient Health Questionnaire 9-item score was 8.5 (SD 4.9), indicating mild levels of anxiety and depression at baseline.