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

Disabil Rehabil. 2017 Jun 7:1-10. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1333633. [Epub ahead
of print]

Evald L(1)(2)(3).

PURPOSE: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of a
prospective memory aid that combines smartphones with Internet-based calendars
among community-dwelling patients with traumatic brain injury.
METHOD: An uncontrolled pre- and post-assessment design was employed to study the
use of unmodified, low-cost, off-the-shelf smartphones combined with
Internet-calendars as a compensatory memory strategy in community-dwelling
patients with traumatic brain injury. Thirteen participants received a 6-week
group-based intervention with pre-, post- and 2-month follow-up-assessments by
questionnaires and by daily assessment of target behaviors for 2-week periods.
RESULTS: Participants reported significantly fewer retro- and prospective memory
problems on questionnaires after the intervention and at follow-up with large
effect sizes. The performance of target behaviors, however, improved
insignificantly with moderate effect sizes. There were no changes in quality of
life or symptoms of emotional distress.
CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to a growing body of evidence that smartphones are a
useful compensatory aid in rehabilitation of prospective memory that should
routinely be considered in rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury patients.
Implication for rehabilitation Smartphones are easy-to-use and accessible
assistive technology for compensatory memory rehabilitation to most traumatic
brain injury patients. By using low-cost, off-the-shelf devices, the technology
becomes available to a broader range of patients. By combining smartphones with
Internet-based and cross-platform services (e.g., calendars, contacts) the
participants are less device-dependent and less vulnerable to data loss.
Smartphones should routinely be considered as compensatory aid in rehabilitation
of prospective memory of traumatic brain injured patients. 

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