Background: Developing efficient cognitive training for the older population is a major public health goal due to its potential cognitive benefits. A promising training target is executive control, critical for multitasking in everyday life. The aim of this pilot study was to establish the feasibility and acceptability of the Breakfast Task training in older adults, a new web-based cognitive training platform that simulates real-life multitasking demands.
Methods: A community-based sample of 24 cognitively healthy participants aged between 60 and 75 ( M = 69.12, SD = 3.83) underwent 5-session cognitive training protocol, delivered online. Each session lasted 45 minutes and occurred twice a week at participant’s homes. Performance was recorded, and participants completed questionnaires at baseline and after the intervention.
Results: Feasibility metrics showed overall high recruitment (82.7%), adherence and retention rates (100%). Acceptability was considered good based on participant`s quantitative and qualitative responses. On average, participants rated the game as interesting, enjoyable and did not report difficulties in accessing the game online without supervision or in understanding the instructions. Participants showed a learning curve across sessions, suggesting improvement in the game outcomes and potential benefits from the emphasis change training approach. The study identified relevant areas that need improvements and adjustments, such as technical issues, session’s structure and dose.
Conclusions: The findings provide preliminary support for the feasibility and acceptability of the Breakfast Task training platform in cognitively healthy older adults, with promising potential cognitive benefits. Results suggest the value of further research investigating the Breakfast Task training features and dose-response relationship, as well as its potential efficacy in older adults via larger randomized controlled trials.
Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov : NCT04195230 (Registered 11 December 2019). https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04195230