Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE), United States, 1999-2001 (ICPSR 4248)

Version Date: Jun 30, 2010 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Sharon Tennstedt, New England Research Institutes; John Morris, Hebrew Senior Life-Boston; Frederick Unverzagt, Indiana University; George W. Rebok, Johns Hopkins University; Sherry L. Willis, Pennsylvania State University; Karlene Ball, University of Alabama in Birmingham; Michael Marsiske, University of Florida

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ACTIVE, 1999-2001

The data producers have recompiled the ACTIVE data into a new study which is available as of December 2023, ICPSR 38821; data users should plan to use study 38821 instead.

ACTIVE (Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly), 1999-2001 [United States] was a multisite randomized controlled trial conducted at six field sites with New England Research Institutes (NERI) as the coordinating center. The field sites included the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged in Boston, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Florida/Wayne State University (Detroit). The primary aim of the trial was to test the effects of three distinct cognitive interventions -- previously found to be successful in improving elders' performance on basic measures of cognition under laboratory or small-scale field conditions -- on measures of cognitively demanding daily activities. Trainings consisted of an initial series of ten group sessions followed by four-session booster trainings at one and three years. The three cognitive interventions focused on memory, executive reasoning, and speed of processing. The design included a no-contact control group. Participants were assessed at baseline, immediately after training, and annually thereafter. A total of 2,832 older adults were enrolled in the trial, and 2,802 were included in the analytical sample. Twenty-six percent of the participants were African American.

Tennstedt, Sharon, Morris, John, Unverzagt, Frederick, Rebok, George W., Willis, Sherry L., Ball, Karlene, and Marsiske, Michael. Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE), United States, 1999-2001. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-06-30.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging, United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Nursing Research
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1999 -- 2001
1999 -- 2001
  1. The following is a list of acronyms used in the titles of many of the 34 data parts in this collection:

    1. AN1 -- 1st Annual Post-Test
    2. AN2 -- 2nd Annual Post-Test
    3. AVLT -- Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test
    4. BL AVLT -- Baseline Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test
    5. CRT -- Complex Reaction Time
    6. EPT -- Everyday Problems Test
    7. HVLT -- Hopkins Verbal Learning Test
    8. OTDL -- Observed Tasks of Daily Living
    9. PAN1 -- 1st Annual Post-Test
    10. PT -- Post-Test
    11. PT AVLT -- Post-Test Baseline Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test
    12. Rivermead -- Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test
    13. UFOV -- Useful Field of Vision
  2. The Rey AVLT used in this data collection is a subset of the full Rey test.

  3. Only a particular subset of the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test was used for ACTIVE.

  4. The 10th Annual Post-Test of the ACTIVE study is also available from ICPSR (ICPSR 36036). Included in ICPSR 36036 is a newer version of the Analysis Dataset which includes data from the 10th Annual Post-Test as well as data from the previous tests. Users are advised that the ICPSR 36036 version of the Analysis Dataset may include updates to the earlier data and should consider using the newer version of this file for analyses.

  5. The title of this collection has been edited to conform to current metadata standards.

  6. Please note that there are some discrepancies in this collection that we are working to correct: the data files and the codebook for dataset 12 do not match; also, the codebook for dataset 10 appears to be duplicated. Users should contact if they discover additional errors.


The sample consisted of 2,832 persons aged 65 to 94 recruited from 6 metropolitan areas in the United States. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) recruited participants from residents of Jefferson County, Alabama, who were licensed to drive or who possessed nondriver ID cards issued through the Alabama Department of Public Safety, and they recruited from UAB eye clinics. The Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged (HRCA) in Boston, Massachusetts, recruited from congregate and senior housing sites, senior centers, and a registry of volunteers for aging research at the Harvard Cooperative Program on Aging. Indiana University recruited clients of the Community Centers of Indianapolis and through local churches and senior organizations. Johns Hopkins University recruited from senior centers, churches, senior housing, and senior organizations in the Baltimore, Maryland, metropolitan area and in Cumberland, Maryland. Pennsylvania State University recruited from the enrollment files of a state-funded pharmaceutical assistance program for low-income elders, called PACE. And Wayne State University recruited from community organizations, churches, and senior housing in metropolitan Detroit, as well as from state of Michigan driver registration lists. The study design also included a no-contact control group.

Persons 65 and older who were noninstitutionalized, but were at risk of loss of functional independence.


cognitive assessment tests



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Tennstedt, Sharon, John Morris, Frederick Unverzagt, George W. Rebok, Sherry L. Willis, Karlene Ball, and Michael Marsiske. Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE), United States, 1999-2001. ICPSR04248-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-06-30.

2010-06-30 Part 43, Analysis Dataset, has been updated.

2009-08-06 This is the update of the previously archived ACTIVE study, Limited Access from Baseline to Second Annual. The current submission is for Third Annual and Fifth Annual assessments. New datasets include: Forms 706a, 706b, 713, 714, 803, 804, 813, and 814. The following datasets have been updated and include Annual 3 and 5 data: Forms 5, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 411, 422, 611a, 611b, 612, 613, 614, 615a, 615b, 616, 617, 619, and 717. The Analysis dataset (analydat) has data from baseline to Annual 5.

2008-09-29 New datasets added are Forms 5, 411, 510, 616, 618 and 619. Updated datasets are Forms 2, 4, 700, 705 and 610.

2006-05-02 Additional Principal Investigators were added. No other changes were made.

2005-10-11 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).