Working memory training for patients with acquired brain injury: effects in daily life

  • Johansson B
  • Tornmalm M
  • 5

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Working memory deficits are common after brain injury and cause multiple problems for patients in daily life. Research has shown that it is possible to improve working memory functioning by training. The aim of this study was to examine whether patients with moderate to severe cognitive deficits after brain injury could profit from working memory training and if that training had any impact on their daily life activities. A training programme was designed consisting of computerized training software (Cogmed QM), coaching, education, and peer support. The design was a prospective cohort study in a naturalistic setting at an outpatient centre for persons with acquired brain injury. METHODS: Participants were 18 patients, aged 17-64, who had difficulties in daily life pertaining to working memory deficits. Data were collected pre- and post-training and at a six-month follow-up. RESULTS: Despite relatively severe cognitive deficits patients were able to carry out a demanding training programme with positive results. The computerized training showed a significant improvement on trained working memory tasks. Patients starting at a low training level improved the most. Self-rating measurements and interviews indicated that patients experienced fewer cognitive problems in daily life after training. The effect was maintained at the six month follow-up. Training results were not affected by age or time post-injury (1-22 years)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries/co [Complications]
  • Brain Injuries/rh [Rehabilitation]
  • Computer-Assisted
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • MEDLINE
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders/et [Etiology]
  • Memory Disorders/rh [Rehabilitation]
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Self Report
  • Social Support
  • Software
  • Therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult

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Authors

  • B Johansson

  • M Tornmalm

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