Interventions for older persons reporting memory difficulties: a randomized controlled pilot study

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2015 May;30(5):478-86. doi: 10.1002/gps.4164. Epub 2014 Jul 7.


Objective: The objective of this study is to compare three different interventions for persons who report memory difficulties: health promotion, cognitive training, and a participation-centered course, using a single-blind, randomized controlled design.

Methods: Participants were 44 Israeli adults with memory complaints, aged 65 years or older. The main outcome variable was the Global Cognitive Score assessed using the MindStreams(®) mild cognitive impairment assessment, a computerized cognitive assessment. The Mini-Mental State Examination and the self-report of memory difficulties were also utilized. To assess well-being, the UCLA Loneliness Scale-8 was used. Health was evaluated by self-report instruments.

Results: All three interventions resulted in significant improvement in cognitive function as measured by the computerized cognitive assessment. All approaches seemed to decrease loneliness. The only variable which showed a significant difference among the groups is the self-report of memory difficulties, in which the cognitive training group participants reported greater improvement than the other groups.

Conclusion: Multiple approaches should be offered to older persons with memory complaints. The availability of diverse options would help fit the needs of a heterogeneous population. An educational media effort to promote the public's understanding of the efficacy of these multiple approaches is needed.

Keywords: Israel; cognition; intervention studies; loneliness; memory; older persons.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Executive Function / physiology
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Loneliness / psychology
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Memory Disorders / complications
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Memory Disorders / therapy*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pilot Projects