Effects of a comprehensive educational group intervention in older women with cognitive complaints: A randomized controlled trial

Esther M. Hoogenhout*, Renate H. M. de Groot, Wim van der Elst, Jelle Jolles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: This study presents a new comprehensive educational group intervention that offers psycho-education about cognitive aging and contextual factors (i.e., negative age stereotypes, beliefs, health, and lifestyle), focuses on skills and compensatory behavior, and incorporates group discussion. Its effects were investigated in community-dwelling older women who report normal age-related cognitive complaints. Methods: A randomized controlled trial with an experimental and waiting-list control condition was carried out in a sample of 50 women aged 60-75 years. As the main problem of these individuals were perceived cognitive deficits without actual cognitive decrements, metacognition served as the primary outcome measure. Objective cognitive functioning and psychological well-being were secondary outcome measures. A double baseline and a follow-up assessment were carried out. Results: Participants in the experimental condition reported significantly fewer negative emotional reactions toward cognitive functioning (U = 164.500, p = 0.004). The reported effect size (delta = -0.473) could be interpreted as large. Conclusions: This new comprehensive educational group intervention reduces negative emotional reactions toward cognitive functioning, which seems a prerequisite for improved subjective cognitive functioning and wellbeing. It can potentially contribute the well-being of an important and large group of older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
JournalAging & Mental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • cognitive aging
  • subjective forgetfulness
  • metacognition
  • intervention
  • outcome

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