Prevention of dementia using mobile phone applications (PRODEMOS): protocol for an international randomised controlled trial

BMJ Open. 2021 Jun 9;11(6):e049762. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049762.


Introduction: Profiles of high risk for future dementia are well understood and are likely to concern mostly those in low-income and middle-income countries and people at greater disadvantage in high-income countries. Approximately 30%-40% of dementia cases have been estimated to be attributed to modifiable risk factors, including hypertension, smoking and sedentary lifestyle. Tailored interventions targeting these risk factors can potentially prevent or delay the onset of dementia. Mobile health (mHealth) improves accessibility of such prevention strategies in hard-to-reach populations while at the same time tailoring such approaches. In the current study, we will investigate the effectiveness and implementation of a coach-supported mHealth intervention, targeting dementia risk factors, to reduce dementia risk.

Methods and analysis: The prevention of dementia using mobile phone applications (PRODEMOS) randomised controlled trial will follow an effectiveness-implementation hybrid design, taking place in the UK and China. People are eligible if they are 55-75 years old, of low socioeconomic status (UK) or from the general population (China); have ≥2 dementia risk factors; and own a smartphone. 2400 participants will be randomised to either a coach-supported, interactive mHealth platform, facilitating self-management of dementia risk factors, or a static control platform. The intervention and follow-up period will be 18 months. The primary effectiveness outcome is change in the previously validated Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Ageing and Incidence of Dementia dementia risk score. The main secondary outcomes include improvement of individual risk factors and cost-effectiveness. Implementation outcomes include acceptability, adoption, feasibility and sustainability of the intervention.

Ethics and dissemination: The PRODEMOS trial is sponsored in the UK by the University of Cambridge and is granted ethical approval by the London-Brighton and Sussex Research Ethics Committee (reference: 20/LO/01440). In China, the trial is approved by the medical ethics committees of Capital Medical University, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Beijing Geriatric Hospital, Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital, Taishan Medical University and Xuanwu Hospital. Results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Trial registration number: ISRCTN15986016.

Keywords: adult neurology; dementia; public health.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cell Phone*
  • China
  • Dementia* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • London
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN15986016