Cross-sectional survey of attitudes and beliefs towards dementia risk reduction among Australian older adults

Joyce Siette*, Laura Dodds, Kay Deckers, Sebastian Köhler, Christopher J. Armitage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Little is known about what drives older adults’ motivation to change their behaviour and whether that is associated with their personal dementia risk profile. Our aims were to (i) understand what sociodemographic factors are associated with older Australians’ motivation to change behaviour to reduce their dementia risk, and (ii) explore the relationship between socio-demographic factors and motivation to reduce dementia risk with health- and lifestyle-based dementia risk scores in older adults. Methods: A cross-sectional online postal or telephone survey was administered to community-dwelling older adults in New South Wales, Australia between January and March 2021. Measures included socioeconomic status, locality, and health status, the Motivation to Change Lifestyle and Health Behaviours for Dementia Risk Reduction (MCLHB-DRR) scale and the lifestyle-based dementia risk score (LIBRA index). Multiple linear regression analyses were used to explore the associations for (i) sociodemographic factors and motivation to reduce dementia risk (MCLHB-DRR scales) and (ii) sociodemographic factors and motivation to reduce dementia risk with health- and lifestyle-based dementia risk (LIBRA index). Results: A total of 857 older adults (mean age 73.3 years, SD = 6.0, range 65–94; 70% women; 34.6% less than grade 6 education) completed the survey. Respondents reported high levels of motivation to adopt behaviour changes, agreeing on the importance of good health. Individuals who were younger were more likely to have greater motivation to modify lifestyle to reduce dementia risk and had higher perceived benefits to gain by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Dementia risk scores were moderately low (mean LIBRA index =− 2.8 [SD = 2.0], range − 5.9–3.8), indicating relatively moderate-to-good brain health. Men with low socioeconomic status and higher perceived barriers to lifestyle change had higher dementia risk scores. Conclusions: Public health campaigns need to overcome motivational barriers to support reductions in dementia risk. A multifaceted and inclusive approach targeting both sociodemographic differences and impediments to brain healthy lifestyles is required to achieve genuine change. Trial registration: ACTRN12621000165886, Date of registration: 17/02/2021.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1021
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Dementia risk
  • Motivation
  • Older adults

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