In Hong Kong, the evidence for cognitive-training programs in fighting against memory complaints is lacking. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Active Mind cognitive-training program in improving the cognitive function and quality of life (QoL) for local community-dwelling Chinese older adults. A total of 200 subjects were recruited from 20 different district elderly community centers (DECCs). Centers were randomly assigned into either the intervention group or control group. The intervention group underwent eight 1-hour sessions of cognitive training, while the control group were included in the usual group activities provided by the DECCs. Standardized neuropsychological tests (the Chinese version of Mattis Dementia Rating Scale [CDRS] and the Cantonese version of the Mini-Mental State Examination) and the QoL questionnaire SF12 were used to assess participants' cognitive function and QoL before and after the trial. A total of 176 subjects completed the study. The intervention group showed greater improvement in the cognitive function measured by total CDRS score (treatment: 12.24 ± 11.57 vs control: 4.37 ± 7.99; P < 0.001) and QoL measured by total SF12 score (treatment: 7.82 ± 13.19 vs control: 3.18 ± 11.61; P = 0.014). Subjects with lower education level were associated with better cognitive response to the cognitive-training program. The current findings indicated that the Active Mind cognitive-training program was effective in improving the cognitive function and QoL for community-dwelling Chinese older adults in Hong Kong.
Keywords: cognitive stimulation; cognitive training; effectiveness; memory; older adults.