Promoting cognitive health: a formative research collaboration of the healthy aging research network.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


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.


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.


The data provide a wealth of opportunities for designing public health interventions to promote cognitive health in diverse populations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Laditka, JN; Beard, RL; Bryant, LL; Fetterman, D; Hunter, R; Ivey, S; Logsdon, RG; Sharkey, JR; Wu, B

Published Date

  • June 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 Suppl 1 /

Start / End Page

  • S12 - S17

PubMed ID

  • 19525211

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1758-5341

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0016-9013

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/geront/gnp085


  • eng