Memory enhancement training for older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a preliminary study

Aging Ment Health. 2002 Feb;6(1):5-11. doi: 10.1080/13607860120101077.


'Mild cognitive impairment' (MCI) in older adults refers to a significant decline in memory function but not other cognitive functions. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for MCI are needed. The present randomized clinical trial tests the efficacy of a cognitive and behavioral treatment to improve memory performance and participants' attitudes about their memory. A multi-faceted intervention that included education about memory loss, relaxation training, memory skills training, and cognitive restructuring for memory-related beliefs was compared to a no-treatment control condition. Outcomes included memory performance and appraisals of memory function and control. Results indicate that the treated group had significantly better memory appraisals than controls at the end of treatment and at a six-month follow-up. There were no differences between groups on memory performance at post-test but at follow-up the trained individuals showed a trend toward better word list recall than controls. Findings suggest that individuals with MCI can benefit from multi-component memory enhancement training. Further development of such training programs and tests of their efficacy alone and in combination with medications are needed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Memory Disorders / psychology*
  • Memory Disorders / therapy*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Task Performance and Analysis