A daily-life-oriented intervention to improve prospective memory and goal-directed behaviour in ageing: A pilot study

  • Burkard C
  • Rochat L
  • Blum A
 et al. 
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Difficulties in the execution of goal-directed behaviours, and particularly their prospective memory component, can arise in ageing and have important consequences for autonomy. The first objective of this article is to present an intervention that trained older individuals who reported prospective memory or goal-directed behaviour problems to use "implementation intentions". This technique, which has been shown to improve different aspects of goal-directed behaviour enactment, consists of establishing a mental (verbal and/or visual) link between the action that must be performed and the situation in which it must be performed. Our programme proposes exercises of progressively increasing difficulty that are targeted at daily life situations. Our second objective was to test the programme in small groups of older adults. Preliminary data regarding the programme's feasibility and its initial efficacy show a significant improvement in the main outcome measure, a questionnaire assessing goal-directed behaviours in everyday life. The participants also reported being significantly less bothered by their difficulties, although there were no significant changes in quality of life, self-esteem, anxiety or depression. Two participants with different psychological profiles, who benefited differently from the intervention, are then presented in more detail.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Ageing
  • Goal-directed behaviour
  • Implementation intentions.
  • Prospective memory
  • Rehabilitation

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  • Christina Burkard

  • Lucien Rochat

  • Anaëlle Blum

  • Joëlle Emmenegger

  • Anne Claude Juillerat Van Der Linden

  • Martial Van Der Linden

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