Image: New research suggests an interactive Internet-based solution can help seniors stay healthy (Photo courtesy of Alamy).
A new study describes how an Internet-based multi-domain platform can help senior citizens prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD), cognitive decline and dementia.
Developed by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF; Viestintä, Finland), Toulouse University (France), and other institutions, Healthy Aging Through Internet Counseling in the Elderly (HATICE) is an Internet-based intervention designed to improve the CVD risk profile of older adults. HATICE, which is based on several guidelines for CVD risk management, is administered through a coach-supported interactive, platform to over 2,500 senior community-dwellers in Finland, France, and the Netherlands.
The program focused on promoting the awareness and self-management of hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and overweight, and supporting smoking cessation, participating in physical activity, and maintaining a healthy diet in study participants. Country guidelines for the prevention of CVD were integrated in order to develop a lifestyle-counseling program within the HATICE platform, which could be consistently applicable in the local setting. Minor country-specific adaptations were implemented to maximize intervention feasibility.
Half of the study participants have access to an Internet platform where they can follow their CVD risk factors and find information on how to reduce them by improving their lifestyle. Through the platform, they can also interact with a specialized nurse for extra guidance and support. The other half of the study’s participants has access to a simplified platform, with only basic information and no interactive features. The researchers will compare the results in lifestyle and health status in further studies. The study was published on February 20, 2018, in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“The possibility of devising common preventive programs throughout Europe and delivering them through the Internet means that we may be able to reach a larger portion of the population in a simpler and cost-effective way,” concluded lead author Barbera Mariagnese, MD, PhD, of UFE, and colleagues. “Despite differences in CVR management within the countries considered, it was possible to design and implement the HATICE multi-domain intervention.”
University of Eastern Finland