BACKGROUND: memory training is a potential intervention for retaining memory and reducing dementia risk in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
OBJECTIVE: this study examined the effect of virtual interactive working memory training (VIMT) in older adults with MCI.
DESIGN: single-blind, two-arm parallel-group, randomised controlled design.
SETTING: retirement homes, institutions, and communities.
SUBJECTS: a total of 66 older adults with MCI were recruited (mean age: 78.5 ± 7.6 years).
METHODS: participants were randomly assigned to the experimental group (VIMT, n = 33) or active control group (n = 33). The VIMT program used the CogniPlus (includes four training modules). Both groups attended 45 min sessions 3 times per week, a total of 36 sessions. The primary outcome was working memory; secondary outcomes were immediate memory, delayed memory, subjective memory complaints and global cognitive function. All variables were measured at pre-test, post-test, and 3-month follow-up.
RESULTS: between group, the effect of working memory adjusted mean difference by 1.75 (95% CI: 0.56 to 2.94; P < 0.01) at post-test. The results were analysed by a generalised estimating equation, which indicated that VIMT group significantly improved working memory at post-test (P = 0.01) relative to the active control group.
CONCLUSIONS: the applied VIMT program can enable older adults with MCI to maintain their working memory and reduce the rate of cognitive deterioration.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (no.: NCT02462135).
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