Purpose: This study investigated the feasibility and efficacy of a working memory training program for improving memory and language skills in a sample of 9 children who are deaf (age 7-15 years) with cochlear implants (CIs).
Method: All children completed the Cogmed Working Memory Training program on a home computer over a 5-week period. Feasibility and acceptability of the program were evaluated using parent report and measures of children's performance on the training exercises. Efficacy measures of working memory and sentence repetition were obtained prior to training, immediately after training, and 1 month and 6 months after training.
Results: Children's performance improved on most training exercises, and parents reported no problems with children's hearing or understanding of the exercises. After completion of working memory training, children demonstrated significant improvement on measures of verbal and nonverbal working memory, parent-reported working memory behavior, and sentence-repetition skills. The magnitude of improvement in working memory decreased slightly at the 1-month follow-up and more substantially at 6-month follow-up. However, sentence repetition continued to show marked improvement at 6-month follow-up.
Conclusions: Working memory training may produce benefit for some memory and language skills for children with CIs, supporting the importance of conducting a large-scale, randomized clinical trial with this population.