Differential benefits of memory training for minority older adults in the seniorWISE study

Graham J. McDougall, Heather Becker, Keenan Pituch, Taylor W. Acee, Phillip W. Vaughan, Carol L. Delville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose:Cognitive training improves mental abilities in older adults, but the benefit to minority elders is unclear. We conducted a subgroup analysis of subjects in the SeniorWISE (Wisdom Is Simply Exploration) trial to examine this issue.Design and Methods:SeniorWISE was a Phase 3 randomized trial that enrolled 265 nondemented community-dwelling older adults aged 65 years and older between 2001 and 2006. Participants were randomly assigned to 12 hr of either memory or health training.Results:The sample was 79% female, 71% Caucasian, 17% Hispanic, and 12% African American. On the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (RBMT), 28% of the sample scored normal, 47% scored poor, and 25% impaired. Memory performance changed differently over time depending on the demographic characteristics of participants. Both Hispanics and Blacks performed better than Whites on visual memory, and Blacks performed better over time on instrumental activities of daily living. On all performance measures, lower pretest scores were associated with relatively greater improvements over time.Implications:Our analyses suggested that minority participants received differential benefits from the memory training; however, this remains speculative because the 3 ethnic groups in the sample were not equivalent in size. The question of why Black and Hispanic participants often made greater improvements needs further exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-645
Number of pages14
JournalGerontologist
Volume50
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cognitive performance
  • Differential benefits of training
  • Memory training
  • Minority elderly adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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