Research Reports - Prospective memory rehabilitation using smartphones in patients with TBI

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2014 Oct 21:1-15

Evald L.

Use of assistive devices has been shown to be beneficial as a compensatory memory
strategy among brain injury survivors, but little is known about possible
advantages and disadvantages of the technology. As part of an intervention study
participants were interviewed about their experiences with the use of low-cost,
off-the-shelf, unmodified smartphones combined with Internet calendars as a
compensatory memory strategy. Thirteen community-dwelling patients with traumatic
brain injury (TBI) received a 6-week group-based instruction in the systematic
use of a smartphone as a memory compensatory aid followed by a brief structured
open-ended interview regarding satisfaction with and advantages and disadvantages
of the compensatory strategy. Ten of 13 participants continued to use a
smartphone as their primary compensatory strategy. Audible and visual reminders
were the most frequently mentioned advantages of the smartphone, and, second, the
capability as an all-in-one memory device. In contrast, battery life was the most
often mentioned disadvantage, followed by concerns about loss or failure of the
device. Use of a smartphone seems to be a satisfactory compensatory memory
strategy to many patients with TBI and smartphones come with features that are
advantageous to other compensatory strategies. However, some benefits come
hand-in-hand with drawbacks, such as the feeling of dependency. These aspects
should be taken into account when choosing assistive technology as a memory
compensatory strategy.

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