Research Reports - Effectiveness of handheld computers for improving everyday memory functioning in patients with memory impairments after brain injury

Clin Rehabil. 2014 Jan 22

Lannin N, Carr B, Allaous J, Mackenzie B, Falcon A, Tate R.

Objective:To determine the effectiveness of personal digital assistant devices on
achievement of memory and organization goals in patients with poor memory after
acquired brain injury.Design:Assessor blinded randomized controlled
trial.Setting:Specialist brain injury rehabilitation hospital (inpatients and
outpatients).Participants:Adults with acquired brain impairments (85% traumatic
brain injury; aged ≥17 years) who were assessed as having functional memory
impairment on the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (General Memory
Index).Interventions:Training and support to use a personal digital assistant for
eight weeks to compensate for memory failures by an occupational therapist. The
control intervention was standard rehabilitation, including use of non-electronic
memory aids.Main outcome measures:Goal Attainment Scale which assessed
achievement of participants' daily memory functioning goals and caregiver
perception of memory functioning; and General Frequency of Forgetting subscale of
the Memory Functioning Questionnaire administered at baseline (pre-randomization)
and post intervention (eight weeks later).Results:Forty-two participants with
memory impairment were recruited. Use of a personal digital assistant led to
greater achievement of functional memory goals (mean difference 1.6 (95%
confidence interval (CI) 1.0 to 2.2), P = 0.0001) and improvement on the General
Frequency of Forgetting subscale (mean difference 12.5 (95% CI 2.0 to 22.9), P =
0.021).Conclusions:Occupational therapy training in the use of a handheld
computer improved patients' daily memory function more than standard

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