Study at USC tests smartphone app to help older adults with memory problems stay active. Join today!


Despite the health benefits of physical activity, community-living older people with dementia have 26% lower physical activity levels than their cognitively healthy peers. Health-related smartphone applications (apps) are now frequently used to help people lead healthier lifestyles and provide a promising way to increase older adults' physical activity. Unfortunately, no physical activity apps exist that have been adapted for older persons with cognitive impairment despite that this group could benefit from such health-supportive tools. 

The app-based intervention proposed for this study is named Moving Up-A. It includes features designed to assist older adults who have mild cognitive impairments become more physically active. The app provides users support to overcome common barriers to physical activity they may experience by increasing awareness about one’s physical activity patterns and by sending a variety of messages, tips, activities, and reminders.

To participate in this study, we are looking for older adults (65 years or older) with a diagnosis ranging from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to mild dementia who own smartphones, reside in the Los Angeles area or in the Pacific Time Zone, and are not very physically active.

You will be compensated for your time. Scroll all the way down (past the blue bar) for more information, and use the contact form on the right to get in touch.

Palabras clave: smartphone app, physical activity, older adults, MCI, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, mild dementia

Sitios de estudio

1540 Alcazar St., CHP-133, Los Angeles, CA 90089

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  • Men & Women
Age icon
65 +

¿Qué hay involucrado?

Duración del ensayo
  • About 3 weeks

Número de visitas
  • 3 sessions (in-person or online) + regular check-in calls

  • None

  • Surveys

  • App training sessions

  • Use smartphone app

  • Activity monitor

  • Check-in calls

  • Interview

  • Compensation is available for successful completion of study activities.

Cobertura de gastos médicos
  • None

Why participate?


Join research study @USCChanOSOT to assist researchers in designing a smartphone app that can help older adults with memory difficulties stay active and healthy. Compensation provided.


Criterios de inclusión

  • 65 years or older
  • Current clinical diagnosis ranging from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to mild dementia (of any type)
  • Smartphone owner and user for at least 1 month
  • English-speaking
  • Reside in LA area or the Pacific Time Zone
  • Willing and available study partner (family member/friend/caregiver) who owns a smartphone and can attend sessions (online or in-person)
  • Able to safely walk and participate in light physical activity

About This Study

Our team will assess the usability, feasibility, and acceptability of a physical activity smartphone app designed to help older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild dementia be more physically active. This app is different from generic fitness apps because it blends behavior change techniques into its unique specialty features based on well-researched theories. About 15 underactive older adults with MCI/mild dementia and their study partners will be a part of a 2-week trial of the app.

Participants and study partners will take part in the following activities (either online or in-person, depending on comfort and convenience):

  • Fill out questionnaires
  • Learn how to use the Moving Up-A app,
  • Use the app for a 2-week period
  • Wear an activity monitor during the 2 weeks (participant only)
  • Respond to regular check-in calls to see how things are going
  • Complete an interview at the end of the study to discuss satisfaction with the app and make suggestions for changes. 

Information from this study will be used to see how the app should be modified and improved for future research. Findings will be relevant to other efforts in developing mobile health technology for older adults who experience difficulty with memory and thinking.    

Equipo del Programa

Investigador Principal
Stacey Schepens Niemiec, PhD, OTR/L

For questions about this study, contact:

  • Project Manager Dr. Jeanine Blanchard
  • USC Chan Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, 1540 Alcazar St., CHP-133, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003
  • 949-829-2669
  • Principal Investigator Dr. Stacey Schepens Niemiec
  • USC Chan Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, 1540 Alcazar St., CHP-133, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003
  • (323) 442-2069

Research study materials

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