Protocol for a Mixed-Methods Process Evaluation of BetterBrains: A Person-Centered Online Intervention to Delay Cognitive Decline in Adults at Risk of Dementia

Darshini R Ayton, Stephanie Pirotta, Renata Teresa Morello, Emily Rosenich, Christopher A. Barton, Alexandra Lavale, Matthew Pase, Paul Maruff, Nawaf Yassi, Amy G. Brodtmann, Yen Ying Lim, Anna Lucia Barker, on behalf of the BetterBrains Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The BetterBrains Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) will evaluate the effectiveness of an online, person-centered, risk factor management, coaching intervention in community-dwelling, healthy adults at risk of cognitive decline. Multi-component interventions are challenging to evaluate due to program complexity and personalization to individual needs and contexts. This paper describes a multi-level process evaluation conducted alongside the BetterBrains RCT. OBJECTIVE: To understand how and why the BetterBrains intervention was effective or ineffective at reducing cognitive decline in healthy adults whilst considering the context in which it was implemented. METHODS: 1,510 non cognitively-deteriorated community-dwelling adults aged 40-70 years old at risk of cognitive decline will be recruited and randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. All BetterBrains intervention participants, coaches, and the research team will be included in the evaluation. A mixed-methods design will be used, guided by The Framework for Implementation Fidelity and the program logic model. Data will be sourced from interviews, focus groups, surveys, BetterBrains coach notes, participant weekly check-in surveys, and audio recordings of intervention coaching sessions. Quantitative data will be analyzed via descriptive and inferential statistics and qualitative data will be analyzed using content and thematic analysis. RESULTS: The process evaluation will provide information about contextual and influencing factors related to the implementation of BetterBrains and the RCT outcomes. CONCLUSION: Understanding how BetterBrains was implemented and its associated impacts will inform the translation of the program into community and clinical settings, providing easy access to online, personalized dementia prevention services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1689-1703
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2022


  • Chronic disease prevention
  • cognitive decline
  • implementation
  • process evaluation

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