Does cognition-specific computer training have better clinical outcomes than non-specific computer training? A single-blind, randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to investigate differences between non-specific computer training (NCT) and cognition-specific computer training (CCT).

Design:

Randomized controlled experimental study.

Setting:

Local community welfare center.

Subjects:

A total of 78 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were randomly assigned to the NCT (n = 39) or CCT group (n = 39).

Intervention:

The NCT group underwent NCT using Nintendo Wii for improving functional performance, while the CCT group underwent CCT using CoTras for improving function of the cognitive domain specifically. Subjects in both groups received 30-minute intervention three times a week for 10 weeks.

Main measures:

To identify effects on cognitive function, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) digit span subtests, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), Trail Making Test–Part B (TMT-B), Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, and Modified Taylor Complex Figure (MTCF) were used. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was assessed using the Short-Form 36-item questionnaire.

Results:

After 10 weeks, the WAIS subtests (digit span forward: 0.48 ± 0.08 vs. 0.12 ± 0.04; digit span backward: 0.46 ± 0.09 vs. 0.11 ± 0.04) and HRQoL (vitality: 9.05 ± 1.17 vs. 2.69 ± 1.67; role-emotional: 8.31 ± 1.20 vs. 4.15 ± 0.71; mental health: 11.62 ± 1.63 vs. 6.95 ± 1.75; bodily pain: 4.21 ± 2.17 vs. 0.10 ± 0.38) were significantly higher in the NCT group (P < 0.05).

Conclusion:

NCT was superior to CCT for improving cognitive function and HRQoL of elderly adults with MCI.

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