The Influence of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Hispanic/Latino Adults: Results from the "¡Caminemos!" Study

Lissette M. Piedra, Flavia C.D. Andrade, Rosalba Hernandez, Seth William Boughton, Laura Trejo, Catherine A. Sarkisian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of the Study: We examined the prospective effect of an evidence-based exercise intervention (!Caminemos!) on cognitive function among older Hispanic/Latino adults and the potential synergistic effects (if any) of an attributionretraining intervention given to a random sample to counter negative ascriptions of the aging process. Design and Methods: We analyzed baseline and follow-up (1- and 2-year) data collected from Hispanics/Latinos ≥60 years (N = 571) who participated in !Caminemos! across 27 senior centers. All participants were randomly assigned to either (a) the treatment group-a 1-hr attribution-retraining session plus a 1-hr exercise class or (b) the control group-health education plus a 1-hr exercise class. Mixed-effects linear regression was used to determine the effects of the exercise class and the attribution-retraining component on longitudinal changes in cognitive functioning, as measured by the Modified Mini-Mental State (3MS) examination. Results: In analyses adjusted for age, sex, education, income, and medical comorbidities, participants in both trial arms displayed higher cognitive functioning scores at the 1-year (β = 1.76, p = .001) and 2-year (β = 1.37, p = .013) follow-ups when compared with original baseline scores. However, we found no significant difference in cognitive function between the treatment versus control conditions (β = 0.41, p = .582), nor were any differences found across groups over time. Implications: The exercise intervention improved cognitive function in older Hispanics/Latinos, regardless of whether it was supplemented with the age-related attribution retraining. These findings suggest that limited access to exercise programs may be a greater obstacle in forestalling cognitive decline in older Hispanics/Latinos than the negative beliefs they might hold of the aging process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1072-1083
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Cognition
  • Exercise/physical activity
  • Intervention
  • Latino/a (Mexican American)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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