Efficacy of the Ubiquitous Spaced Retrieval-based Memory Advancement and Rehabilitation Training (USMART) program among patients with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled crossover trial

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Han, Ji Won; Son, Kyung Lak; Byun, Hye Jin; Ko, Ji Won; Kim, Kayoung; Hong, Jong Woo; Kim, Tae Hyun; Kim, Ki Woon

Issue Date
BioMed Central
Alzheimer's Research & Therapy, 9(1):39
Cognitive trainingMemorySpaced retrievalMild cognitive impairmentRandomized controlled trialComputerTablet
Spaced retrieval training (SRT) is a nonpharmacological intervention for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia that trains the learning and retention of target information by recalling it over increasingly long intervals. We recently developed the Ubiquitous Spaced Retrieval-based Memory Advancement and Rehabilitation Training (USMART) program as a convenient, self-administered tablet-based SRT program. We also demonstrated the utility of USMART for improving memory in individuals with MCI through an open-label uncontrolled trial.

This study had an open-label, single-blind, randomized, controlled, two-period crossover design. Fifty patients with MCI were randomized into USMART–usual care and usual care–USMART treatment sequences. USMART was completed or usual care was provided biweekly over a 4-week treatment period with a 2-week washout period between treatment periods. Primary outcome measures included the Word List Memory Test, Word List Recall Test (WLRT), and Word List Recognition Test. Outcomes were measured at baseline, week 5, and week 11 by raters who were blinded to intervention type. An intention-to-treat analysis and linear mixed modeling were used.

Of 50 randomized participants, 41 completed the study (18% dropout rate). The USMART group had larger improvements in WLRT score (effect size = 0.49, p = 0.031) than the usual care group. There were no significant differences in other primary or secondary measures between the USMART and usual care groups. Moreover, no USMART-related adverse events were reported.

The 4-week USMART modestly improved information retrieval in older people with MCI, and was well accepted with minimal technical support.
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