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Reducing everyday memory and planning problems by means of a paging system: A randomised control crossover study
WILSON, B.A., EMSLIE, H.C., Quirk, K. & EVANS, J.J.
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 70, 477-482
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Objectives: To evaluate a paging system designed to improve independence in people with memory problems and executive deficits. Methods: After a successful pilot study,[1] we conducted a randomised control trial involving a crossover design with 143 people aged between 8 and 83 years of age. All had one or more of the following: memory, planning, attention or organisation problems. Most had sustained a traumatic head injury or a stroke although a few had developmental learning difficulties and a small number had other conditions. The crossover design ensured some people received a pager following a two-week baseline while others were required to wait for 7 weeks after the baseline before receiving the pager. Participants were assessed at three time periods namely at baseline, 7 weeks and at 14 weeks post-baseline. Results: More than eighty percent of those who completed the 16-week trial were significantly more successful in carrying out everyday activities (such as self-care, self-medication and keeping appointments) when using the pager in comparison with the baseline period. For the majority of these, significant improvement was maintained when monitored 7 weeks after returning the pager. Conclusions: We have demonstrated that this particular paging system significantly reduces everyday failures of memory and planning in people with brain injury.