Vol. 4 No. 3 (2021): International Journal of Aging Research
Research Articles

THE EFFECTS OF A COGNITIVE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR OLDER ADULTS: A BRIEF PRELIMINARY REPORT

Nathan Jensen, Caroline Kinskey, Jeffrey Buchanan
Minnesota State University – Mankato

Keywords

  • aging, older adults, cognitive interventions, cognitive assessment, cognitive training

How to Cite

Nathan Jensen, Caroline Kinskey, Jeffrey Buchanan. (2021). THE EFFECTS OF A COGNITIVE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR OLDER ADULTS: A BRIEF PRELIMINARY REPORT. International Journal of Aging Research, 4(3), 86. https://doi.org/10.28933/ijoar-2021-07-0706

Abstract

As one ages, some degree of cognitive decline is expected. Despite this, declines in cognitive abilities and the possibility of dementia is a common concern among older adults. In response to these concerns, a variety of cognitive training programs have been developed that aim to improve or maintain cognitive functioning. Prior literature has shown mixed or limited findings on cognitive changes after implementation of cognitive training. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a cognitive training program designed for older adults with no to minimal cognitive decline. The current study included 17 participants who engaged in two one-hour cognitive training sessions each week for 12 weeks. Each session required participants to complete activities that targeted the following cognitive domains: attention, visual and verbal memory, visual spatial skills, processing speed and executive functioning, and language. These cognitive domains, along with depression and memory self-efficacy, were assessed prior to and immediately after completion of the program. Small to large effect sizes on the majority of cognitive outcome measures were observed following participation in the program. Small reductions in depressive symptoms were also found. These findings provide preliminary support for the use of a comprehensive cognitive training program for cognitively-intact older adults.

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