Long-term effectiveness of spaced-retrieval memory training for older adults with probable Alzheimer's disease

Katie E. Cherry, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-5501, USA. pskatie@lsu.edu
Shannon S. Simmons-D'Gerolamo


Ten older adults with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) were trained to recall everyday objects using the spaced-retrieval technique. Five persons had participated in a prior spaced-retrieval program (Cherry & Simmons-D'Gerolamo, 1999, Clinical Gerontologist, 20, 39-63). The authors retested these original participants to measure the long-term effectiveness of spaced-retrieval training. Five new participants were included for comparison purposes. During training, participants selected a target object from an array of items at increasingly longer retention intervals. To enhance the effectiveness of spaced-retrieval training, two original and two new participants were given a target object orientation task prior to training. Positive effects of prior experience occurred for most of the original participants. The orientation task enhanced memory for the target objects. Implications for memory remediation in late adulthood are considered.