Effectiveness of a manualised group training intervention for memory dysfunction following stroke: a series of single case studies

Disabil Rehabil. 2020 Oct;42(21):3033-3042. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2019.1579260. Epub 2019 Apr 12.


Purpose: Deficits in memory are common following stroke and have been independently linked with poorer outcomes. Outcomes and best-practice processes of post-stroke memory rehabilitation remain equivocal.Materials and method: In this study an AB with follow up single-case design was repeated across four participants to explore the effectiveness of a compensatory memory skills group in patients with stroke. Target behaviour was subjective everyday and prospective memory failures, assessed weekly. Secondary outcomes included goal attainment and performance on neuropsychological tests of memory. Following three-week baseline, participants completed six weekly two-hour sessions of a manualised memory group. Data was analysed visually and statistically.Results and conclusion: Frequency of everyday memory complaints reduced for all participants during the six-week post-intervention period. This change was significant for three participants. One of the four participants reported a significant reduction in the frequency of prospective memory failures during the maintenance period. All participants described attaining at least one memory specific goal following intervention. Group participation did not result in meaningful change on neuropsychological measures of memory. Taken together, results provided preliminary support for the effectiveness of group-based compensatory memory rehabilitation for reducing subjective everyday memory failures and functional goal attainment.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONMemory skills group training can improve subjective everyday memory and functional goal attainment in community dwelling survivors of stroke.Participants who are closer to date of injury may show greater changes in self-awareness as a consequence of group participation than those who are further from injury.Exploration of change following memory rehabilitation on standard neuropsychological tests may not be the best way to capture improvement following memory skills group training. A focus on functional memory outcomes is recommended to facilitate translation to person-centred clinical practice.

Keywords: Memory; cognitive rehabilitation; compensatory strategies; memory group; stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Stroke* / complications