Novel framework for prevention and intervention in the field of Social Health and dementia


Social health affects and interacts with cognitive decline in many different ways. Some of them have been explicitly identified, some are intuitively assumed but not proven, and some might have not yet been recognized as such. Therefore, we need to systematically synthesize the current knowledge on the interplay between social health and cognitive decline. This allows novel hypotheses on additional links to be formulated and tested. The knowledge such empirical work generates can in turn be used to update iteratively the knowledge synthesis. Following the empirical cycle of science, the conceptual model developed in this work package will structure the analysis in and benefit from the findings of workpackages 2-4.

Work package 5 team during a workshop in Bremen (November 2019)


To build a knowledge synthesis in the form of a system dynamics (SD) model that guides and integrates the work and the results from workpackages 2, 3, 4 into a comprehensive framework of social health in conjunction with physical and mental health and its impact on cognitive decline and the course of dementia.


  1. To develop a preliminary system dynamics models and a framework for an integrated understanding of the role of social health in cognition and dementia
  2. To provide a framework to guide (re-)analyses for optimal use of social health in intervention studies in dementia field and to further develop the SD-models in an iterative way
  3. To develop and disseminate an empirically tested model and framework of social health and its interrelation to cognitive health
  4. To translate the final model into key elements and targets for interventions, both for prevention and for improved dementia care


The workpackage 5 team will integrate all available information into a system dynamics representation of the multidirectional relation of social health, cognition and underlying biological substrate using a Group Model Building approach (GMB) widely used to build the capacity of practitioners to think in a systems way. It is especially suitable for involving stakeholders, including patients and the public into model-building and has for example been used to understand the complex, systemic causes of obesity with the aim to guide (health) policy, intervention and healthcare systems redesign. This novel representation will be translated into key elements and targets for recommendations for interventions, both for prevention and for improved dementia care.

Lead Team