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Subjective memory impairment and well-being in community-dwelling older adults

Contact Information


Edward McAuley,

exercise; memory complaints; subjective memory; well-being.


Background: The relationship between subjective memory impairment (SMI), future cognitive decline, and negative health status provides an opportunity for interventions to reduce memory complaints in high-risk groups. This study aimed to examine the relationship between SMI and indicators of well-being in older adults enrolled in an exercise trial. Additionally, the study examined whether two different modes of exercise training, aerobic walking and non-aerobic flexibility, toning, and balance, differentially influenced subjective memory across the trial. Methods: Community-dwelling older adults (n = 179, mean age = 66.4 years) were randomly assigned to a walking or flexibility, toning, and balance group for 12 months. Subjective memory, happiness, perceived stress, and symptom reporting were measured at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Results: A main effect of subjective memory indicated that individuals with the fewest memory complaints had lower perceived stress (P < 0.001), lower physical symptom reporting (P < 0.001), and higher happiness levels (P < 0.001) across all measurement occasions. Both main and interaction effects of time and group on SMI were not significant, suggesting SMI remained stable across the intervention and was not significantly impacted by participation in exercise training.Conclusions: SMI was not responsive to exercise interventions, and the relationship between SMI and negative well-being demonstrates a need for interventions to reduce memory complaints in high-risk groups.


Zuniga, K. E., Mackenzie, M. J., Kramer, A., & McAuley, E. (2016). Subjective memory impairment and well-being in community-dwelling older adults. Psychogeriatrics : the official journal of the Japanese Psychogeriatric Society, 16(1), 20–26.





Conent Area

Krystle E. Zuniga

EWB-Related Construct

(2) life satisfaction; (3) positive affect

Study Design

Species or Study Population

(5) RCT

Sex (%Female)


Age (Mean, SD)

66.4, 5.7

Younger Controls?


Longitudinal Data?


Sample Size



12-month randomized controlled trial examining the effect of aerobic training on brain health

Ethnicity (%white)

not stated (in discussion,The author mentioned that the majority of participants were white, and demographics regarding race were collected but not reported in the article, and there are no supplementary materials. None of the other two papers reporting the same clinical trials mentioned this either.)

Inclusion Criteria

(1) physical inactivity (<3 days a week of physical activity in the past 6 months),
(2) absence of clinical depression as classified by the five-item Geriatric Depression Scale,
(3) absence of cognitive impairment as assessed by the modified Mini-Mental Status Examination (score ≥ 51)

Exclusion Criteria


EWB Measures

(1) Happiness: Memorial University of New foundland Scale of Happiness (MUNSH):

Non-EWB Behavioral

(1) symptom reporting: Cohen–Hoberman Inventory of Physical Symptoms (CHIPS)
(2) subjective memory impairment: Frequency of Forgetting Scale (FSF)
(3) Perceived stress: 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) (

Physiological Measures


Brain IMaging Modality

Brain IMaging Paradigm


Brain Region/Circuit


Biological Measures


Other Neural Measures

Data Availability?


Data Avalability Details


Diagnostic Measures

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