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Improving Memory in Outpatients with Neurological Disorders Using a Group-Based Training Program

  • Kylie Radford (a1), Suncica Lah (a1), Zoë Thayer (a2), Miranda J. Say (a3) and Laurie A. Miller (a1) (a2)...

Abstract

Memory problems are common in patients with a range of neurological conditions, but there have been few attempts to provide and evaluate the usefulness of memory training for groups of neurological outpatients. We used a waitlist-controlled trial design to assess the effectiveness of a newly created, 6-session intervention, which involved training in the use of compensatory strategies as well as education regarding memory function, neurological damage, sleep and lifestyle factors that have an impact on memory. Fifty-six patients with neurological conditions (e.g., stroke, epilepsy) and memory complaints completed the training and assessments. Outcomes were evaluated in terms of reported strategy use as well as objective and subjective measures of anterograde and prospective memory. Training resulted in significant improvements on number of strategies used, scores on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (total learning and delayed recall) and self-report on the Comprehensive Assessment of Prospective Memory. Improvements were stable at 3-month follow-up. Better individual outcomes were related to lower baseline memory scores, fewer symptoms of depression and greater self-awareness of memory function. Overall the study provides encouraging results to indicate that patients with neurological conditions such as stroke and epilepsy can show improvements in memory after a relatively short group-based intervention. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–11)

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Laurie A. Miller, Neuropsychology Unit, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia. E-mail: laurie.miller@sydney.edu.au

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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
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