Tailored and Adaptive Computerized Cognitive Training in Older Adults at Risk for Dementia: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Alex Bahar-Fuchs, Shannon Webb, Lauren Bartsch, Linda Clare, George Rebok, Nicolas Cherbuin, Kaarin J. Anstey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Computerized CognitiveTraining (CCT) has been shownto improve cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mood-related neuropsychiatric symptoms (MrNPS), but many questions remain unresolved. Objective: To evaluate the extent to which CCT benefits older adults with both MCI and MrNPS, and its effects on metacognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, as well as establish whether adapting difficulty levels and tailoring to individuals' profile is superior to generic training. Method: Older adults with MCI (n = 9), MrNPS (θ = 11), or both (MCI+, θ = 25) were randomized into a home-based individually-Tailored and adaptive CCT (θ = 21) or an active control condition (AC; θ = 23) in a double-blind design. Interventions lasted 8-12 weeks and outcomes were assessed after the intervention, and at a 3-month follow-up. Results: Participants in both conditions reported greater satisfaction with their everyday memory following intervention and at follow-up. However, participants in the CCT condition showed greater improvement on composite measures of memory, learning, and global cognition at follow-up. Participants with MrNPS in the CCT condition were also found to have improved mood at 3-month follow-up and reported using fewer memory strategies at the post-intervention and follow-up assessments. There was no evidence that participants with MCI+ were disadvantaged relative to the other diagnostic conditions. Finally, informant-rated caregiver burden declined at follow-up assessment in the CCT condition relative to the AC condition. Conclusions: Home-based CCT with adaptive difficulty and personal tailoring appears superior to more generic CCT in relation to both cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. Mechanisms of treatment effect and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-911
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume60
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Behavior change techniques
  • cognitive training
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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