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Women’s Lifestyle Physical Activity Program: Cardiovascular and brain health

Research Team

Shannon Halloway, PI, Rush CON

JoEllen Wilbur, Co-I, Rush CON

Lynne T. Braun, Co-I, Rush CON

Neelum Aggarwal, Co-I, RUMC

Michael E. Schoeny, Statistician, CON

Award Period

06/01/17 – 05/31/18

Funding Source

Sigma Theta Tau International Small Grant


Subject population: Fifteen women > 65 years, at risk for cognitive problems due to cardiovascular disease, will be recruited from an urban women’s cardiology clinic. Participants must be sedentary and without ambulatory disabilities or dementia.

Research design: Using a one-group pretest-posttest design the aims are to: (1) determine the feasibility (recruitment, delivery, satisfaction, retention) of implementing a 24-week evidence-based lifestyle physical activity (PA) program in a cardiology clinic; (2) examine changes in PA and sedentary behavior from baseline to 24 weeks; (3) examine the effects of the lifestyle PA program on cognitive function from baseline to 24 weeks, controlling for background characteristics.

Instrument: PA and sedentary behavior will be assessed with self-report questionnaires and accelerometer, which captures PA duration and intensity. Seven neurocognitive tested will be used to assess cognitive function in five domains of cognitive abilities shown to be influenced by PA. Additional measures include environment (neighborhood), history of diabetes and hypertension, and serum markers of neurobiological mechanisms that mediate PA and cognitive function.

Procedure: Core elements of the 24-week Women’s Lifestyle PA Program include an individual lifestyle PA prescription with a PA monitor for self-monitoring steps, five clinic-based group visits held every five weeks, and nine motivational calls.