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Palmtop computers as memory aids in a residential community integration program following TBI

This project examined the effectiveness of palmtop computers providing alarm cues in improving compliance on prospective memory tasks among TBI clients in supervised living settings. Using a three-month ABA design, subjects were monitored in terms of the number of staff cues that had to be provided to them prior to their initiating target tasks including medication dosage initiation (3 times daily), daily schedule review, and laying out the next day's clothing. In the initial and final Phase A months, subjects were monitored for the number of staff cues required for initiating target tasks under baseline conditions in which no memory aid was provided.

In Phase B, subjects were provided a palmtop computer with alarmed reminders for each of the daily target tasks. In a single case study of a thirty year old woman 12 years post severe traumatic brain injury, startling improvements over baseline were seen in independent compliance with target tasks, to nearly 100%, in Phase B following introduction of palmtop computer usage. In addition, unanticipated improvements in affective and interpersonal functioning were observed and were discussed in terms of changes in levels of self-sufficiency and perceived locus of control.

Registry Project Number: 233
Lead Investigator: Dowds, M
Lead Center for Project: Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Collaborating Investigators: McGrath, N, Jacob, L, Goldstein, R
Keywords: minority, outcome, employment
Date of Completion: 09/30/2003
Type: Local
Status of Project: Latest Information Shown

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