With the preceding project GESTALT (walking, playing and dancing as lifelong activities), funded by Gesund.Leben.Bayern, it was investigated how a six-month, multimodal and evidence-based physical activity programme for the prevention of dementia can be implemented in the practice of primary prevention. In particular, it was determined which existing structures and organisations can be used to implement such a prevention programme on a broad scale and which networks might have to be initiated. The central result of this study is the realisation that it would be of decisive advantage for a comprehensive transfer of the programme into prevention practice if the access of the target group and the feasibility for the providers could be facilitated by a reduction of the programme scope and if the implementation could be promoted by the health insurance funds by an adaptation to the guidelines of the GKV system.
Period: 15 May 2014 until 30 April 2016
Project coordinator: Prof. Dr. Alfred Rütten
Project staff: Dr. Karim Abu-Omar and Anna Streber
Sponsor: Bavarian State Ministry of Health and Care within the framework of the Health Initiative Gesund.Leben.Bayern
Aims and Implementation
1) For this purpose, the original 6-month GESTALT physical activity programme developed according to evidence criteria with 40 exercise units to date and accompanying individual telephone counselling is to be adapted. The essential core elements as well as the core objective of GESTALT – the commitment to effective forms of physical activity for the prevention of dementia – will remain in GESTALT-kompakt.
2) In addition, the project aims to develop and carry out a suitable evaluation in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the programme in its greatly abbreviated form.
3) At the same time, the process of certification of the GESTALT-kompakt physical activity programme is to be initiated and definitively substantiated with the evaluation results of this study with regard to the shortened programme.
The target group for the intervention are older adults (over 60 years of age) of both sexes who have an increased risk of dementia but who have not been diagnosed with such a disease. Since physical inactivity is an important modifiable risk factor for dementia and the GESTALT programme aims to promote and maintain participants‘ physical activity in the long term, the project aims in particular at attracting participants who have had little, irregular or no physical activity to date. Studies show that socially disadvantaged people in particular move less than others, which is why people with low income, low educational status and social isolation should be particularly addressed.
On the basis of the experience gained and a re-analysis of the data from the two previous GESTALT projects, a compatible study design will be developed through a scientific elaboration together with experts from prevention practice and other partners from the field in order to evaluate the impact of the programme.
In addition, the original GESTALT programme will be adapted based on the results of the pilot project phase and in accordance with the DTB’s requirements for the certification of such a programme as well as the requirements of the GKV organisations guidelines on prevention.
The GESTALT programme will then be implemented in its new form and evaluated in a controlled study for its effectiveness in terms of changing physical activity.
At the same time, the trainer’s manual will be submitted to the DTB and certification will be initiated. Afterwards, GESTALT-kompakt prevention providers will be available for a further dissemination.