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Memory rehabilitation for people with early-stage dementia: A single case comparison of four errorless learning methods
Clare, L. & WILSON, B.A.
Zeitschrift fur Gerontopsychologie und psychiatrie, 17, 109-117
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Errorless learning (EL) can be supported through a variety of specific learning methods, which may vary along other parameters including for example the degree of effortful processing required. In memory rehabilitation for people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD), achieving the optimal balance between elimination of errors and active, effortful processing during learning is likely to be critical. This paper describes a comparison of four different errorless methods in a single case experimental design. The participant, who had a diagnosis of early-stage AD, attempted to relearn forgotten face-name associations using one of four methods: Spaced retrieval, mnemonic elaboration, cueing with increasing assistance, and cueing with decreasing assistance. Best results were achieved in the mnemonic and cueing with increasing assistance conditions, while cueing with decreasing assistance produced the least learning. It is suggested that, within an errorless learning paradigm, strategies requiring more effortful processing may produce superior gains compared to strategies relying on implicit or passive processing. This has important implications for clinical rehabilitation interventions for people with early-stage dementia.