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It is not only memory: effects of sensecam on improving well-being in patients with mild alzheimer disease

  • Ana Rita Silva (a1), Maria Salomé Pinho (a1), Luís Macedo (a2), Christopher Moulin (a3), Salomé Caldeira (a4) and Horácio Firmino (a4)...

Cognitive interventions (either restorative or compensatory) developed for mild Alzheimer's Disease (AD) have been tested widely with cognitive measures, but less is known about how the effects of such interventions are generalizable to daily functioning. In the present study, we looked at affective state and perceived functionality and quality of life indicators, for three different cognitive rehabilitation programs.


Fifty-one AD patients in the mild stage of the disease were selected for the study and were randomly assigned to one of three cognitive training groups: (1) Memo+ (a paper and pencil memory training program); (2) SenseCam (wearable camera used as a passive external memory aid); (3) Written diary (a personal journal, used as control condition). All patients attended 11 sessions, twice a week, of 1-hour length. The three outcome indicators were examined with standardized instruments applied before the intervention, one week after and at six months follow-up.


After treatment, the SenseCam and Memo+ groups had significantly reduced depressive symptoms compared to the Diary control condition. The same was found for measures of perceived functional capacity. No intervention effects were found for quality of life measures. The immediate effects of the interventions were not maintained at follow-up.


Our results suggest that two types of memory rehabilitation can improve depressive symptomology and instrumental activities of daily living, suggesting that these interventions can stimulate not only cognition but also well-being, at least in the short term.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: Ana Rita Silva, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Coimbra, CINEICC – Cognitive and Behavioural Center for Research and Intervention Colégio Novo Street, s/n 3001–802 Coimbra, Portugal. Phone: +351 239851450. Email:
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International Psychogeriatrics
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