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The Global Brain Health Survey: Development of a Multi-Language Survey of Public Views on Brain Health

  • Budin-Ljøsne, Isabelle1
  • Friedman, Barbara Bodorkos2
  • Suri, Sana3
  • Solé-Padullés, Cristina4
  • Düzel, Sandra5
  • Drevon, Christian A.6, 7
  • Baaré, William F. C.8
  • Mowinckel, Athanasia Monika2
  • Zsoldos, Enikő9
  • Madsen, Kathrine Skak8
  • Carver, Rebecca Bruu10
  • Ghisletta, Paolo11, 12, 13
  • Arnesen, Mari R.2
  • Bartrés Faz, David4
  • Brandmaier, Andreas M.5
  • Fjell, Anders Martin2
  • Kvalbein, Aud14
  • Henson, Richard N.15
  • Kievit, Rogier A.16
  • Nawijn, Laura17
  • And 4 more
  • 1 Department of Genetics and Bioinformatics, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo , (Norway)
  • 2 Department of Psychology, Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition, University of Oslo, Oslo , (Norway)
  • 3 Department of Psychiatry and Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, University of Oxford, Oxford , (United Kingdom)
  • 4 Department of Medicine, Facultat de Medicina i Ciències de la Salut, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona , (Spain)
  • 5 Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin , (Germany)
  • 6 Vitas AS, Oslo , (Norway)
  • 7 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo , (Norway)
  • 8 Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Centre for Functional and Diagnostic Imaging and Research, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Hvidovre , (Denmark)
  • 9 Department of Psychiatry and Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN), University of Oxford, Oxford , (United Kingdom)
  • 10 Communication Department, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo , (Norway)
  • 11 Methodology and Data Analysis Unit, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva , (Switzerland)
  • 12 Faculty of Psychology, Swiss Distance University Institute, Brig , (Switzerland)
  • 13 Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES, University of Geneva, Geneva , (Switzerland)
  • 14 Norwegian Brain Council, Oslo , (Norway)
  • 15 MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge , (United Kingdom)
  • 16 MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge , (United Kingdom)
  • 17 Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Amsterdam Neuroscience, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam , (Netherlands)
  • 18 Belgian Brain Council, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles , (Belgium)
  • 19 Medical Faculty, Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology, German Brain Council, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf , (Germany)
  • 20 The Ukrainian Psychotrauma Center, Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University, Lutsk , (Ukraine)
Published Article
Frontiers in Public Health
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Aug 14, 2020
DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00387
PMID: 32923418
PMCID: PMC7456866
PubMed Central


Background: Brain health is a multi-faceted concept used to describe brain physiology, cognitive function, mental health and well-being. Diseases of the brain account for one third of the global burden of disease and are becoming more prevalent as populations age. Diet, social interaction as well as physical and cognitive activity are lifestyle factors that can potentially influence facets of brain health. Yet, there is limited knowledge about the population's awareness of brain health and willingness to change lifestyle to maintain a healthy brain. This paper introduces the Global Brain Health Survey protocol, designed to assess people's perceptions of brain health and factors influencing brain health. Methods: The Global Brain Health Survey is an anonymous online questionnaire available in 14 languages to anyone above the age of 18 years. Questions focus on (1) willingness and motivation to maintain or improve brain health, (2) interest in learning more about individual brain health using standardized tests, and (3) interest in receiving individualized support to take care of own brain health. The survey questions were developed based on results from a qualitative interview study investigating brain health perceptions among participants in brain research studies. The survey includes 28 questions and takes 15–20 min to complete. Participants provide electronically informed consent prior to participation. The current survey wave was launched on June 4, 2019 and will close on August 31, 2020. We will provide descriptive statistics of samples distributions including analyses of differences as a function of age, gender, education, country of residence, and we will examine associations between items. The European Union funded Lifebrain project leads the survey in collaboration with national brain councils in Norway, Germany, and Belgium, Brain Foundations in the Netherlands and Sweden, the National University of Ostroh Academy and the Women's Brain Project. Discussion: Results from this survey will provide new insights in peoples' views on brain health, in particular, the extent to which the adoption of positive behaviors can be encouraged. The results will contribute to the development of policy recommendations for supporting population brain health, including measures tailored to individual needs, knowledge, motivations and life situations.

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