Claudia I Martínez-Alcalá , PhD , 1 , 2 , Alejandra Rosales-Lagarde , PhD 1 , 2 , Esmeralda Hernández-Alonso , B Gerontology 2 , Roberto Melchor-Agustin , B Tech (IT) 3 , Erika E Rodriguez-Torres , PhD 4 , Benjamín A Itzá-Ortiz , PhD 4
21 August 2018
Cognitive impairment is considered one of the most feared chronic conditions among the older adult population since its incidence is approximately twice more frequent than that of dementia. In Mexico, no studies or reports of older adults using technology for cognitive interventions have been published, given that institutions usually frame cognitive stimulation tasks in paper and pencil (ie, in the traditional manner).
The objective of this study was to create and analyze the effect, viability, and impact of a mobile app for cognitive stimulation implemented among a group of elderly adults (over 60 years of age) from the state of Hidalgo in Mexico.
This study was a nonprobabilistic pilot trial using convenience sampling. An intervention was implemented among a group of 22 older adults between 60 and 80 years of age over 12 weeks. Half of the older adults were stimulated with the mobile app (experimental group) and the other half followed the traditional paper and pencil training (control group). Assessments with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Neuropsi, a neuropsychological test validated in Mexico, were done before and after both cognitive stimulations.
According to the analyzed data, 6/11 (55%) participants from the experimental group obtained better results in their cognitive skills, and 5 (45%) of the adults maintained their score, given that the participants were able to execute the exercises repetitively. Meanwhile, for the control group, only 3/11 (27%) participants obtained better results in the postevaluation. Significant values for results of the MMSE were obtained in the postevaluation for the experimental group compared to the control group, while results did not show significant differences in the Neuropsi. Regarding the validation of the app, all the participants evaluated its pertinence positively.
The intervention data show that the experimental group obtained better results in the postevaluation given that the participants were able to execute the exercises repetitively. The control group could not accomplish this since they had to respond on the manual and no further attempts were provided. However, both groups increased their score in the neuropsychological evaluations. This suggests that a longer and more frequent intervention is required.