DOI: 10.1002/alz.075156 ISSN: 1552-5260

Brain Health PRO: An Interactive, Online, Educational Program for Dementia

Sylvie Belleville, Howard Chertkow, Howard H. Feldman, Haakon B. Nygaard, Manuel Montero‐Odasso, Nicole D. Anderson, Louis Bherer, Guylaine Ferland, Richard Camicioli, Senny Chan, Marc Cuesta, Emily Dwosh, Alexandra J Fiocco, Brigitte Gilbert, Inbal Itzhak, Pamela Jarrett, Danielle Laurin, Teresa Liu‐Ambrose, Jody‐Lynn Lupo, Chris A McGibbon, Laura E Middleton, Kelly J Murphy, Natalie Phillips, M. Kathleen Pichora‐Fuller, Carolyn Revta, Marie Y. Savundranayagam, Andrew Sexton, Eric E. Smith, Mark R. Speechley, Amal Trigui, Walter Wittich,
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



The Intervention mapping framework was used to plan and develop Brain Health PRO (BHPro), a 45‐week, theory‐ and evidence‐based online educational program co‐created with users in English and French. The goal of the program is to improve dementia literacy, self‐efficacy, and attitude toward dementia and ultimately have a positive impact on the dementia risk profile. A pilot study evaluated usability and acceptability using a shorter version of the online program, which informed changes for a full efficacy trial.


A group of over 100 researchers contributed expert content targeting seven modifiable risk factors (physical activity, nutrition, cognitive engagement, sleep, social and psychological health, vascular health, vision and audition). 181, ten minute chapters were created in total. All chapters were reviewed and edited by the Citizen’s Advisory group, consisting of older adults in the community. Information and recommendations for lifestyle improvement are delivered incrementally through weekly email interactions, and the platform is designed based on e‐learning principles. Participants complete online questionnaires to assess usability (eg: ease of use, ease of navigation, access, complexity), acceptability (eg: whether the program is interesting, whether they would use it again or recommend it) and level of risk at baseline for each of the seven modifiable risk factors.


A pilot study of Brain Health PRO was conducted, including 20 older adults, 13 women and 7 men. They had 16.75 years of education on average and their mean score on Logical Memory Scale II was 10.90. Two focus groups were conducted with a randomly selected group of participants to inform about the usability and acceptability of the program. The focus groups along with user experience questionnaires indicated excellent usability, with all dimensions rated in the positive range. Feedback from the end users were incorporated into the program prior to the main efficacy study.


BHPro was designed out of necessity to pivot in the changing environment brought by COVID‐19. Early data indicate that the BHPro program meets the needs and abilities of older adults in a virtual setting. The platform is easy for older adults to learn and use and is considered relevant.

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