Effectiveness of computerized cognitive training in nursing homes
Uroš Marušič, Zdenka Milič Žepič & Vojko Kavčič
Abstract: Maintaining and improving physical and cognitive health is becoming a challenging task, especially for older people who are exposed to accelerated age- or neurodegenerative-related decline. Existing non-pharmacological interventions may stabilize or slow down cognitive decline, but effective preventive treatments that would delay the symptom onset are currently being explored. One of such non-pharmacological treatments is cognitive training, which has gained in popularity over the last two decades. The aim of our research was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of cognitive training with spatial navigation task in nursing home residents. Thirty-one nursing home residents (mean age = 81.6 years, range 69–94 years; mean MoCA score = 22.8, range 17–27; 7 male) were randomly assigned to control or intervention group, where they underwent a 2-month cognitive training (two-times weekly; altogether 16 sessions) with virtual maze navigation. Participants were measured pre- and post-intervention on neuropsychological assessment battery, while the control group received no specific treatment and performed pre- and post-measurements only. The only significant improvements were found on Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) where participants in the intervention group significantly improved as compared to their control counterparts. Despite limited generalization of cognitive training, our intervention was feasible and positively perceived by the majority of nursing home residents. Future studies should evaluate long-term effects and generalization to other functional capabilities as well as activities of daily living. Overall, our study provides empirical evidence that cognitive training is accepted by nursing home residents, and most importantly, can improve mnemonic cognitive abilities.
Keywords: aging, cognitive training, spatial navigation task, virtual maze, transfer of learning, nursing homes
Marušič, U., Milič Žepič, Z., & Kavčič, V. (2021). Učinkovitost računalniškega kognitivnega treninga v domovih starejših občanov [Effectiveness of computerized cognitive training in nursing homes]. Psihološka obzorja, 30, 47–54. https://doi.org/10.20419/2021.30.537
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