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A Tablet for Healthy Ageing: The Effect of a Tablet Computer Training Intervention on Cognitive Abilities in Older Adults


Vaportzis, Eleftheria; Martin, Mike; Gow, Alan J (2017). A Tablet for Healthy Ageing: The Effect of a Tablet Computer Training Intervention on Cognitive Abilities in Older Adults. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(8):841-851.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To test the efficacy of a tablet computer training intervention to improve cognitive abilities of older adults.

DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: Community-based aging intervention study, Edinburgh, UK.

PARTICIPANTS: Forty-eight healthy older adults aged 65 to 76 years were recruited at baseline with no or minimal tablet experience; 43 completed follow-up testing.

INTERVENTION: Twenty-two participants attended a weekly 2-hour class for 10 weeks during which they learned how to use a tablet and various applications on it.

MEASUREMENTS: A battery of cognitive tests from the WAIS-IV measuring the domains of Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Processing, Working Memory, and Processing Speed, as well as health, psychological, and well-being measures.

RESULTS: A 2 × 2 mixed model ANOVA suggested that the tablet intervention group (N = 22) showed greater improvements in Processing Speed (η(2) = 0.10) compared with controls (N = 21), but did not differ in Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Processing, or Working Memory (η(2) ranged from -0.03 to 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Engagement in a new mentally challenging activity (tablet training) was associated with improved processing speed. Acquiring skills in later life, including those related to adopting new technologies, may therefore have the potential to reduce or delay cognitive changes associated with ageing. It is important to understand how the development of these skills might further facilitate everyday activities, and also improve older adults' quality of life.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To test the efficacy of a tablet computer training intervention to improve cognitive abilities of older adults.

DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: Community-based aging intervention study, Edinburgh, UK.

PARTICIPANTS: Forty-eight healthy older adults aged 65 to 76 years were recruited at baseline with no or minimal tablet experience; 43 completed follow-up testing.

INTERVENTION: Twenty-two participants attended a weekly 2-hour class for 10 weeks during which they learned how to use a tablet and various applications on it.

MEASUREMENTS: A battery of cognitive tests from the WAIS-IV measuring the domains of Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Processing, Working Memory, and Processing Speed, as well as health, psychological, and well-being measures.

RESULTS: A 2 × 2 mixed model ANOVA suggested that the tablet intervention group (N = 22) showed greater improvements in Processing Speed (η(2) = 0.10) compared with controls (N = 21), but did not differ in Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Processing, or Working Memory (η(2) ranged from -0.03 to 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Engagement in a new mentally challenging activity (tablet training) was associated with improved processing speed. Acquiring skills in later life, including those related to adopting new technologies, may therefore have the potential to reduce or delay cognitive changes associated with ageing. It is important to understand how the development of these skills might further facilitate everyday activities, and also improve older adults' quality of life.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 University Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:5 December 2017
Deposited On:16 Jan 2017 09:42
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 20:13
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:1064-7481
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2016.11.015
PubMed ID:28082016

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