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Intervening with everyday memory problems in Dementia of Alzheimer Type: An errorless learning approach.
CLARE L., WILSON, B. A., CARTER, G., Breen, K., Gosses, A., & HODGES, J. R.
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 22, 132-146
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Dementia of Alzheimer Type (DAT) is increasingly detected at an earlier stage of the disorder, when interventions to assist with everyday memory difficulties might be most valuable. Some learning is possible in DAT and a number of factors have been identified which may facilitate performance, although applications to everyday memory problems have been limited. The concept of errorless learning has not previously been directly examined in relation to DAT, but might provide a useful additional strategy. In the present study, six patients with early stage DAT (MMSE scores 21 - 26) received individually-tailored interventions, based on errorless learning principles and targeted at a specific everyday memory problem. All patients showed significant improvement on the target measures, and five maintained this improvement up to six months later. The results suggest that it is feasible to intervene with everyday memory problems in the early stages of DAT and that errorless learning may be useful in addressing these problems.