Background: Non-pharmacological interventions are expected to be important strategies for reducing the age-adjusted prevalence of senile dementia, considering that complete medical treatment for cognitive decline has not yet been developed. From the viewpoint of long-term continuity of activity, it is necessary to develop various cognitive stimulating programs. The aim of this study is to examine the effectiveness of a cognitive intervention through a training program for picture book reading for community-dwelling older adults.
Methods: Fifty-eight Japanese older participants were divided into the intervention and control groups using simple randomization (n =29 vs 29). In the intervention group, participants took part in a program aimed at learning and mastering methods of picture book reading as a form of cognitive training intervention. The control group listened to lectures about elderly health maintenance. Cognitive tests were conducted individually before and after the programs.
Results: The rate of memory retention, computed by dividing Logical Memory delayed recall by immediate recall, showed a significant interaction (p < .05) in analysis of covariance. Simple main effects showed that the rate of memory retention of the intervention group improved after the program completion (p < .05). In the participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) examined by Japanese version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA-J) (n =14 vs 15), significant interactions were seen in Trail Making Test-A (p < .01), Trail Making Test-B (p < .05), Kana pick-out test (p < .05) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (p < .05).
Conclusions: The intervention effect was found in delayed verbal memory. This program is also effective for improving attention and executive function in those with MCI. The short-term interventional findings suggest that this program might contribute to preventing a decline in memory and executive function.
Trial registration umin-ctr: UMIN000014712 (Date of ICMJE and WHO compliant trial information disclosure: 30 July 2014).