Background: In the last few years, several non-pharmacological interventions have been developed to prevent age-associated cognitive deterioration, specifically memory deterioration. The effectiveness of these interventions has not been sufficiently evaluated. Objective: To determine the effectiveness of cognitive interventions in preventing age-associated memory impairment by means of a literature review. Methods: An exhaustive search was carried out in PubMed. Studies published from 1990 onwards that assessed the effectiveness of cognitive interventions on memory outcomes in older adults without mild cognitive impairment or dementia were included. The studies were classified according to their quality. The short- and long-term effects of the interventions on objective and subjective memory tasks and transfer of gains to other cognitive domains were assessed. Results: Twenty-five studies met the inclusion criteria. Eleven (44%) were considered high-quality, of which all except one reported improved memory outcomes. The most common type of memory assessed was recent verbal objective memory, which improved in eight out of nine high-quality studies. Recent non-verbal and association objective memory, mainly assessed in medium-quality studies, improved in four out of seven and in 10 out of 11 studies, respectively. The results concerning subjective memory were heterogeneous. Transfer of gains was only observed in one out of seven high-quality studies. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that certain cognitive interventions performed in healthy older adults are effective in preventing cognitive deterioration, especially recent verbal memory.
- Mental health
- Program evaluation
- The elderly
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health