Feasibility and benefits of computerized cognitive exercise to adults with chronic moderate-to-severe cognitive impairments following an acquired brain injury: A pilot study.

Abstract

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE The purpose of this pilot study was to explore feasibility and effects of participation in a computerized cognitive fitness exercise program by a group of adults with chronic moderate-to-severe cognitive impairments following an acquired brain injury (ABI). RESEARCH DESIGN This study used a mixed methods design with a convenience sample of individuals forming two groups (+/- exercise). METHODS AND PROCEDURES Following neurocognitive and satisfaction with life pre-testing of 14 participants, seven were enrolled in a 5-month, 5-days a week computerized cognitive exercise program. Post-testing of all participants and semi-structured interviews of exercise group participants were completed. MAIN OUTCOMES AND RESULTS It was feasible for adults with chronic moderate-to-severe cognitive impairments post-ABI to participate in a computerized cognitive exercise program with ongoing external cues to initiate exercise sessions and/or to complete them as needed. Significant exercise group improvements were made on memory and verbal fluency post-tests and life satisfaction. The majority of exercise group participants reported some degree of positive impact on cognitive abilities and some on everyday functioning from program participation. CONCLUSIONS Adults with chronic moderate-to-severe cognitive impairments following an ABI may benefit from participation in computerized cognitive exercise programs. Further study is warranted.

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