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Table 1 Criteria for inclusion and exclusion of studies in the review

From: Continuing education for the prevention of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s-type dementia: a systematic review protocol

Category Inclusion Exclusion
Population -Adults (45 years or older) without a clinical diagnosis of cognitive impairment; this includes people with subjective cognitive impairment -People younger than 45 years
-People with a clinical diagnosis of impaired cognition (e.g., MMSE < 24)
-Populations comprised exclusively of patients with primary diseases with an increased risk for dementia such as Parkinson disease, HIV infection, multiple sclerosis, stroke, post traumatic brain injuries, infectious diseases, psychiatric conditions (e.g., alcohol abuse, drug abuse, major depressive disorder)
Subgroups -Age
-Level of education
-Duration of intervention
Geography No limit No limit
Date of search Searches will go back until 1990  
Settings Community-dwelling adults Institutionalized people, e.g., people in nursing homes
Interventions For systematic review
-All cognitive activities that are provided by formal and non-formal educational institutions
-Classes/courses/trainings that are based on individual interests and that are attended voluntarily
For review of systematic reviews
-Leisure activities that are cognitively stimulating and mimic the content of continuing education but in an informal setting.
Formal (vocational) education and training, physical activities, topics and courses that are related to any special job position and/or occupation
Control interventions No continuing education Any educational activities and physical activities
Outcomes Health outcomes
- Incidence of dementia
- Incidence of MCI
- Psychological wellbeing
- Functional capacity
- Quality of life
- Other relevant health outcomes
Intermediate outcomes
- Cognitive functioning
- Cognitive (test) performance
- Social inclusion
Timing Minimum duration of the intervention: 3 months
Minimum follow-up time: 1 year
Publication language No language restrictions  
Study design For systematic reviews
-Nonrandomized controlled trials
-Prospective controlled cohort studies
-Retrospective controlled cohort studies
-Case-control studies
-Nonrandomized studies must have a minimum sample size of 300 or more participants
For review of systematic reviews
-Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
-Case series
-Case reports
-Cross over trials
-Nonsystematic reviews
-Studies without a control group
-Nonrandomized studies with fewer than 300 participants
  1. Abbreviations: MCI mild cognitive impairment, MMSE Mini-Mental State Examination, HIV human immunodeficiency virus, RCT randomized controlled trial