Evaluation of a computer-assisted errorless learning-based memory training program for patients with early Alzheimer’s disease in Hong Kong: a pilot study
Grace Y Lee,1 Calvin CK Yip,2 Edwin CS Yu,3 David WK Man4
1Occupational Therapy Department, Kwai Chung Hospital, 2CY Functional Recovery Services, 3Psychogeriatric Team, Kwai Chung Hospital, 4Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
Background: Improving the situation in older adults with cognitive decline and evidence of cognitive rehabilitation is considered crucial in long-term care of the elderly. The objective of this study was to implement a computerized errorless learning-based memory training program (CELP) for persons with early Alzheimer’s disease, and to compare the training outcomes of a CELP group with those of a therapist-led errorless learning program (TELP) group and a waiting-list control group.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial with a single-blind research design was used in the study. Chinese patients with early Alzheimer’s disease screened by the Clinical Dementia Rating (score of 1) were recruited. The subjects were randomly assigned to CELP (n = 6), TELP (n = 6), and waiting-list control (n = 7) groups. Evaluation of subjects before and after testing, and at three-month follow-up was achieved using primary outcomes on the Chinese Mini-Mental State Examination, Chinese Dementia Rating Scale, Hong Kong List Learning Test, and the Brief Assessment of Prospective Memory-Short Form. Secondary outcomes were the Modified Barthel Index, Hong Kong Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale, and Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form. The data were analyzed using Friedman's test for time effect and the Kruskal-Wallis test for treatment effect.
Results: Positive treatment effects on cognition were found in two errorless learning-based memory groups (ie, computer-assisted and therapist-led). Remarkable changes were shown in cognitive function for subjects receiving CELP and emotional/daily functions in those receiving TELP.
Conclusion: Positive changes in the cognitive function of Chinese patients with early Alzheimer's disease were initially found after errorless training through CELP. Further enhancement of the training program is recommended.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, memory training, errorless learning, computerized, early dementia
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