TECH preserves global cognition of older adults with MCI compared with a control group: a randomized controlled trial

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BACKGROUND: Cognitive training using touchscreen tablet casual game applications (apps) has potential to be an effective treatment method for people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

AIMS: This study aimed to establish the effectiveness of 'Tablet Enhancement of Cognition and Health' (TECH), a novel cognitive intervention for improving/preserving cognition in older adults with MCI.

METHODS: A single-blind randomized controlled trial with assessments pre-, post-, and at 6-month follow-up was conducted. TECH entailed 5 weeks of daily self-training utilizing tablet apps, facilitated by weekly group sessions. Global cognition was assessed by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and specific cognitive components were assessed using WebNeuro computerized battery. Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) assessed health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Intention-to-treat analysis was conducted and the %change was calculated between pre-post and between pre-follow-up. Cohen's d effect size was also calculated.

RESULTS: Sixty-one participants aged 65-89 years were randomly allocated to TECH (N = 31, 14 women) or to standard care (N = 30, 14 women). Pre-post and pre-follow-up MoCA %change scores were significantly higher in TECH than control (U = 329.5, p < .05; U = 294.5, p < .05) with intermediate effect size values (Cohen's d = .52, Cohen's d = .66). Forty percent of TECH participants versus 6.5% of control participants achieved a minimal clinical important difference in MoCA. Pre-post between-group differences for specific cognitive components were not found and HRQoL did not change.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: TECH encouraged daily self-training and showed to preserve global cognition of older adults with MCI. The implementation of TECH is recommended for older adults with MCI, who are at risk for further cognitive decline.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2024


  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction/therapy
  • Cognitive training
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tablet
  • Technology
  • iPad

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Ageing


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