Behavioral Interventions in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): Lessons from a Multicomponent Program

Shellie Anne Levy, Glenn Smith, Liselotte De Wit, Brittany DeFeis, Gelan Ying, Priscilla Amofa, Dona Locke, Anne Shandera-Ochsner, Courtney McAlister, Vaishali Phatak, Melanie Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Comparative effectiveness of behavioral interventions to mitigate the impacts of degeneration-based cognitive decline is not well understood. To better address this gap, we summarize the studies from the Healthy Action to Benefit Independence & Thinking (HABIT®) program, developed for persons with mild cognitive impairment (pwMCI) and their partners. HABIT® includes memory compensation training, computerized cognitive training (CCT), yoga, patient and partner support groups, and wellness education. Studies cited include (i) a survey of clinical program completers to establish outcome priorities; (ii) a five-arm, multi-site cluster randomized, comparative effectiveness trial; (iii) and a three-arm ancillary study. PwMCI quality of life (QoL) was considered a high-priority outcome. Across datasets, findings suggest that quality of life was most affected in groups where wellness education was included and CCT withheld. Wellness education also had greater impact on mood than CCT. Yoga had a greater impact on memory-dependent functional status than support groups. Yoga was associated with better functional status and improved caregiver burden relative to wellness education. CCT had the greatest impact on cognition compared to yoga. Taken together, comparisons of groups of program components suggest that knowledge-based interventions like wellness education benefit patient well-being (e.g., QoL and mood). Skill-based interventions like yoga and memory compensation training aid the maintenance of functional status. Notably, better adherence produced better outcomes. Future personalized intervention approaches for pwMCI may include different combinations of behavioral strategies selected to optimize outcomes prioritized by patient values and preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-131
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Behavioral interventions
  • Comparative effectiveness
  • HABIT®
  • Mild cognitive impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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