Graham J McDougall, Ph.D., R.N., Keenan A. Pituch, Ph.D., Geraldine Martorella, Ph.D., R.N., Todd Monroe, Ph.D., R.N.
Purpose. In this secondary analysis we tested whether 12 hours of Senior WISE (Wisdom Is Simply Exploration) memory or health training with older adults would produce better outcomes by gender in perceptions of anxiety and bodily pain and whether the effects of the Senior WISE training on pain were mediated by anxiety.
Design. An implemented Phase III randomized clinical trial with follow up for 24 months in Central Texas. The sample was mostly female (79%), 71% Caucasian, 17% Hispanic, and 12% African American with an average age of 75 and 13 years of education.
Results. The effects of the memory intervention on anxiety were consistent across time, with effects present for males but not females at post-treatment and end-of-study. Although males had more anxiety in the health promotion group, the memory training reduced males’ anxiety such that no gender difference was present in this group. The Senior WISE intervention reduced pain for both males and females at post-intervention but not at end-of-study. Although gender differences did not depend on the treatment group for pain, females reported somewhat, but not significantly, less pain at post-treatment and end-of-study. Mediation analysis indicated that, for males, the memory intervention indirectly affected pain at post-treatment, in part, by reducing anxiety, which lowered pain. However, at end-of-study, no indirect effect was present. Males responded to memory training. Training tailored to gender may increase the efficacy of the programs and “buy-in” from male participants, especially if tailored to anxiety and pain.