Your Questions about ENRICH®
Recently, the BCAT Research Center announced the development of the ENRICH® website (www.enrichvisits.com). The website should be up and running by mid-January, 2017. There are four “steps” to the ENRICH® program: (1) an explanation of the six brain-healthy habits you can practice to mitigate your risk for dementia; (2) the opportunity to use the ENRICH® Calculator, which measures how well you are currently doing in managing these six brain-healthy behaviors; (3) the opportunity to take a cognitive self-assessment (the SAC) or schedule a “virtual” BCAT cognitive assessment; and (4) a summary of suggested “next steps” using the information you have from the ENRICH® Calculator and SAC or BCAT assessments.
We have received quite a bit of interest and questions regarding the ENRICH® program. There has been particular interest and excitement about the ENRICH® Calculator. Among these queries, three broad questions have been the most asked. Below is an example of each question and our response:
How did you determine what items to put in the ENRICH® Calculator? Good question! Based on a comprehensive review of the literature, a preliminary study conducted by the BCAT Research Center, and the combined clinical experiences of numerous healthcare professionals representing many health disciplines, we identified six healthy habits for mitigating dementia risk, and then we designed the specific items for the calculator.
Why does the ENRICH® Calculator measure only six behaviors? Certainly, one can identify more than six brain-healthy behaviors that could mitigate dementia risk. However, the six we selected and used to develop the ENRICH® Calculator were based on three overriding principles. The first was economy. Decades of healthcare research shows that compliance with health behavior suffers when people are asked to do more than a handful of healthy activities. You might think about this as a “less is more” concept. The second principle was utility. We choose brain-healthy factors that had the most impressive data supporting them. The third principle was association. The six brain-healthy factors we selected are highly associated with other mitigating factors. For example, we did not include questions about diet because diet is highly correlated with the brain-healthy behaviors we did include (e.g., Body Mass Index and systolic blood pressure).
Is the ENRICH® Calculator free? Yes, the calculator is free and can be used as often as one likes. To access it, one simply will be able to go to the ENRICH® website (www.enrichvisits.com). We hope that the site will be “live” in mid-January.