The Effect of Daily Practice of Puzzle-Game Apps on Cognition in Two Groups of Older Adults: A Pre-Post Experimental Study

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There is an urgent need for non-pharmacological cognitive interventions to delay the onset and modify the progression of the cognitive deterioration of older adults with early stages of cognitive decline. ‘Tablet Enhancement of Cognition and Health’ (TECH) is such an intervention. We aimed to assess the suitability of TECH for older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Specifically, we wanted to explore the feasibility and to determine the initial effectiveness of TECH for older adults with Pre-Mild Cognitive Impairment (pre-MCI) as well as with MCI. This is pre-post experimental design, including two groups of older adults. Feasibility included group session attendance (adherence), self-training time (compliance), and satisfaction from the TECH intervention. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) assessed global cognition and the WebNeuro computerized battery assessed specific cognitive components. Twenty-eight participants with MCI (8 women, aged 65–87), and ten participants with pre-MCI (5 women, aged 65–86) participated in TECH. High adherence, compliance, and satisfaction were reported by both groups. Memory recall improved for the MCI group (z = −2.7 p = 0.006). In addition, for the MoCA an intermediate effect size (Cohen’s d = 0.52) and a small effect (Cohen’s d = 0.18) were found for the MCI and pre-MCI groups, respectively. Large to small effect size values for WebNeuro cognitive components were found for both groups. Both groups of older adults were motivated, performed daily self-training, which gave them enjoyment and a sense of control. TECH seems to have potential to preserve cognition over time. Additional research with a longer follow-up is needed to determine whether TECH can prevent cognitive decline in older adults with MCI but especially with pre-MCI.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number15454
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number23
StatePublished - 22 Nov 2022


  • cognitive training
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • subjective cognitive decline
  • touchscreen tablet

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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