Efficacy of memory rehabilitation therapy: a meta-analysis of TBI and stroke cognitive rehabilitation literature

Brain Inj. 2014;28(12):1610-6. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2014.934921. Epub 2014 Jul 24.


Objective: To examine the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation strategies specifically designed to improve memory after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke vs. memory improvement with the passage of time.

Design and methods: A meta-analysis was performed on 26 studies of memory retraining and recovery that were published between the years of 1985 and 2013. Effect sizes (ESs) from each study were calculated and converted to Pearson's r and then analysed to assess the overall effect size and the relationship among the ESs, patient demographics and treatment interventions.

Results: RESULTS indicated a significant average ES (r = 0.51) in the treatment intervention conditions, as well as a significant average ES (r = 0.31) in the control conditions, in which participants did not receive any treatment. The largest ESs occurred in studies of stroke patients and studies concerning working memory rehabilitation.

Conclusions: RESULTS showed that memory rehabilitation was an effective therapeutic intervention, especially for stroke patients and for working memory as a treatment domain. However, the results also indicated that significant memory improvement occurred spontaneously over time.

Keywords: Cognitive rehabilitation; TBI; memory; meta-analysis; neurorehabilitation; remediation; stroke; working memory.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Executive Function
  • Humans
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Memory Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States