Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

BMJ Open








School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Precision Health


European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Number 779 238)

National Key R&D Programme of China (2017YFE0118800)


Zhang, J., Eggink, E., Zhang, X., Li, X., Jiang, B., Liu, H., ... & Song, M. (2022). Needs and views on healthy lifestyles for the prevention of dementia and the potential role for mobile health (mHealth) interventions in China: A qualitative study. BMJ open, 12(11), Article e061111.



Over the coming decades, China is expected to face the largest worldwide increase in dementia incidence. Mobile health (mHealth) may improve the accessibility of dementia prevention strategies, targeting lifestyle-related risk factors. Our aim is to explore the needs and views of Chinese older adults regarding healthy lifestyles to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) and dementia through mHealth, supporting the Prevention of Dementia using Mobile Phone Applications (PRODEMOS) study.


Qualitative semi-structured interview study, using thematic analysis.


Primary and secondary care in Beijing and Tai’an, China.


Older adults aged 55 and over without dementia with an increased dementia risk, possessing a smartphone. Participants were recruited through seven hospitals participating in the PRODEMOS study, purposively sampled on age, sex, living area and history of CVD and diabetes.


We performed 26 interviews with participants aged 55–86 years. Three main themes were identified: valuing a healthy lifestyle, sociocultural expectations and need for guidance. First, following a healthy lifestyle was generally deemed important. In addition to generic healthy behaviours, participants regarded certain specific Chinese lifestyle practices as important to prevent disease. Second, the sociocultural context played a crucial role, as an important motive to avoid disease was to limit the care burden put on family members. However, time-consuming family obligations and other social values could also impede healthy behaviours such as regular physical activity. Finally, there seemed to be a need for reliable and personalised lifestyle advice and for guidance from a health professional.


The Chinese older adults included in this study highly value a healthy lifestyle. They express a need for personalised lifestyle support in order to adopt healthy behaviours. Potentially, the PRODEMOS mHealth intervention can meet these needs through blended lifestyle support to improve risk factors for dementia and CVD.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Included in

Public Health Commons