Testing the effectiveness of group-based memory rehabilitation in chronic stroke patients

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2014;24(5):721-37. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2014.894479. Epub 2014 Mar 14.


Memory complaints are common after stroke, yet there have been very few studies of the outcome of memory rehabilitation in these patients. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a new manualised, group-based memory training programme. Forty outpatients with a single-stroke history and ongoing memory complaints were enrolled. The six-week course involved education and strategy training and was evaluated using a wait-list crossover design, with three assessments conducted 12 weeks apart. Outcome measures included: tests of anterograde memory (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test: RAVLT; Complex Figure Test) and prospective memory (Royal Prince Alfred Prospective Memory Test); the Comprehensive Assessment of Prospective Memory (CAPM) questionnaire and self-report of number of strategies used. Significant training-related gains were found on RAVLT learning and delayed recall and on CAPM informant report. Lower baseline scores predicted greater gains for several outcome measures. Patients with higher IQ or level of education showed more gains in number of strategies used. Shorter time since onset was related to gains in prospective memory, but no other stroke-related variables influenced outcome. Our study provides evidence that a relatively brief, group-based training intervention can improve memory functioning in chronic stroke patients and clarified some of the baseline factors that influence outcome.

Keywords: Anterograde memory; Brain lesions; Everyday memory; Prospective memory; Training outcome.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Treatment Outcome