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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 378934, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/378934
Review Article

Cognitive Stimulation Programs in Healthy Elderly: A Review

1École de Psychologie, Université Laval Pavillon Félix-Antoine Savard, 2325 rue des Bibliothèques, local 1116, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
2Centre de Recherche, Université Laval Robert-Giffard, Québec, QC, Canada G1J 2G3

Received 16 January 2011; Revised 2 May 2011; Accepted 30 May 2011

Academic Editor: Patrizia Mecocci

Copyright © 2011 Sarah Tardif and Martine Simard. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This literature paper investigated the efficacy of 14 cognitive intervention programs administered to healthy elderly participants. PsycINFO and PubMed databases were searched using the following terms: cognitive training, cognitive stimulation, elderly, and aging. The majority of participants (13/14 studies) were recruited in community. Nine out of 14 studies targeted memory as the principal cognitive function to train or stimulate. Face-name associations, mental imagery, paired associations, and the method of loci were the main techniques taught to participants. Improvements were observed on at least one outcome measure in each study included in this paper. Recommendations to improve cognitive interventions in the healthy elderly are proposed, such as the utilization of more robust experimental designs, the inclusion of measures of generalization of training in daily life, the assessment of instrumental activities of daily living, quality of life, and self-esteem.