Systematic Review of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation for Prospective Memory Deficits as a Consequence of Acquired Brain Injury

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2017 Jan 19;1-12. doi: 10.1017/S1355617716001065. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: Prospective memory (PM) impairments are common following acquired brain injury (ABI). PM is the ability to keep a goal in mind for future action and interventions have the potential to increase independence. This review aimed to evaluate studies examining PM rehabilitation approaches in adults and children with ABI.

Methods: Relevant literature was identified using PsycARTICLES (1894 to present), PsycINFO (1880 to present), the Cochrane Library (1972 to present), MEDLINE PubMed, reference lists from relevant journal articles, and searches of key journals. Literature searches were conducted using variants of the terms brain injury, stroke, encephalitis, meningitis, and tumor, combined with variants of the terms rehabilitation and prospective memory.

Results: Of the 435 papers identified, 11 were included in the review. Findings demonstrated a variety of interventions to alleviate PM deficits, including compensatory strategies (e.g., external memory aids) that provide either content-specific or content-free cueing, and remediation strategies (e.g., meta-cognitive training programs) aimed at improving the self-monitoring of personal goals. Risk of bias for individual studies was considered and the strengths and limitations of each of the included studies and the review itself were discussed.

Conclusions: Interventions used with adults can be effective; PM abilities can be improved by using simple reminder systems and performance can be generalized to facilitate everyday PM functioning. There is, however, a lack of research of PM interventions conducted with children with ABI, and pediatric interventions need to consider on-going cognitive maturation. (JINS, 2017, 22, 1-12).

Keywords: Acquired brain injury; Prospective Memory; Rehabilitation.