Experiences of Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment from Cognitive Self-Training Using Touchscreen Tablets

Dafna Shamir, Khawla Loubani, Noa Givon Schaham, Zvi Buckman, Debbie Rand*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: “Tablet Enhancement of Cognition and Health” (TECH) is a cognitive intervention that includes two components: 5 weeks of daily self-training using puzzle-game apps on a touch screen tablet and weekly group sessions. This study aimed to (i) explore experiences of older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) following their participation in TECH, (ii) identify hindering and enabling factors to self-training, and (iii) describe participants' perceived and objective cognitive changes and examine factors associated with their satisfaction from TECH. Materials and Methods: We used quantitative and qualitative measures; a phenomenological qualitative design using focus groups and interviews of 14 older adults with MCI and a focus group of the TECH facilitators. Satisfaction with TECH, self-training time, and perceived and objective cognitive changes (using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment) were evaluated. Results: Qualitative data were classified into three categories: Memory problems, Hindering and enabling factors to self-training, and Meaningful group sessions. The TECH facilitators reported positive changes, less cognitive complaints, and commitment and satisfaction of the participants. Participants reported overall satisfaction from TECH and performed a median interquartile range of 22.6 (19.9-42.8) self-training hours. Higher satisfaction was correlated with a higher objective cognitive change (r = 0.95, P < 0.01) and less training time (r = −0.91, P < 0.01). Discussion and Conclusions: Participants in the current study actively engaged in daily self-training using touch screen-tablet-puzzle-game and functional apps, driven by both internal and external motivators. Despite the lack of cognitive improvement, they expressed satisfaction with their participation in TECH. Therefore, encouraging older adults to engage in meaningful cognitive stimulating activities is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGames for health journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Cognitive training
  • Perceived experience
  • Self-training

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