Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Bradley Rosenfield, PsyD

Second Advisor

Donald Masey, PsyD

Third Advisor

Michael Srulevich, DO


This study sought to explore the efficacy of a manualized group therapy protocol developed for this project combining empirically-supported Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI), which we coined as Motivational CBT (MI-CBT), adapted for individuals at a heightened risk of cognitive decline in later adulthood. Specifically, this study investigated changes in cognition, adaptive sleep behavior, diet, exercise, depression, anxiety, and dementia knowledge as well as modifiable lifestyle factors such as Body Mass Index (BMI), hypertension, cholesterol, cigarette smoking, and medical adherence. A group of twenty-five participants (N = 25) were recruited in a large Northeastern city from a university-based family medicine practice, psychoeducation group, social media postings, and research recruitment website. A pretest-posttest experimental design was utilized. Individuals were assessed using measures to acquire baseline and outcomes on cognition (Montreal Cognitive Assessment), sleep (Sleep Disorders Symptom Checlist-25), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), anxiety (Penn State Worry Questionnaire), diet (Lent-Hope Diet Questionnaire), exercise (Step-Up mobile application), and dementia knowledge (Dementia Awareness Questionnaire) as well as a medical adherence questionnaire. Fifteen of the original twenty five participants completed posttest measures immediately following the MI-CBT group treatment and the same fifteen of the original twenty five were assessed at three-month follow-up. Statistical analysis using a one-way repeated measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) revealed significant improvements in insomnia sleep pathology, diet adherence, dementia knowledge, and BMI. This study provides preliminary evidence for a brief group intervention for medically at-risk individuals for dementia and offers practical suggestions on how to overcome obstacles to effective treatment.

Included in

Psychology Commons