Predictors of activities of daily living in heathy older adults: Who benefits most from online cognitive training?

Brain Behav. 2021 Nov;11(11):e2388. doi: 10.1002/brb3.2388. Epub 2021 Oct 17.


Objectives: To investigate the course of activities of daily living (IADL) functioning and possible predictors of performance changes in healthy older adults conducting either a General Cognitive Training (GCT) or a Reasoning Cognitive Training (ReaCT) or no training (control group, CG) over a period of 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months.

Setting and participants: An online, home-based GCT and ReaCT including n = 2913 healthy participants (GCT: n = 1096; ReaCT: n = 1022; CG: n = 794) aged 60 years and older.

Methods: Multilevel analysis were calculated to explore the nature of our outcome variables of IADL part A (independence) and part B (difficulty of tasks), and to detect possible predictors for participants' performance on IADL after CT.

Results: The random slopes models fitted better for the outcomes IADL Part B in the GCT group (χ2 (2) = 18.78, p < .01), and both IADL Part A and Part B in the ReaCT group (χ2 (2) = 28.57, p < .01; χ2 (2) = 63.38, p < .01, respectively), indicating different changes over time for individual participants. Female sex was a significant predictor of IADL change in the ReaCT group, showing that females benefited most in both IADL scores (IADL A: 0.01, p < .01; IADL B: 0.004, p < .01). No other significant predictors for IADL changes were identified.

Conclusion and implication: The particular effectiveness in women is of clinical relevance, as IADL is typically more impaired in women than in men in advanced age. Following a personalized medicine approach, identifying predictors of non-pharmacological intervention success is of utmost importance.

Keywords: healthy older adults; prediction; reasoning cognitive training.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Cognition Disorders*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Problem Solving