The efficacy of cognitive prosthetic technology for people with memory impairments: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Matthew Jamieson, Breda Cullen, Marilyn McGee-Lennon, Stephen Brewster, Jonathan J. Evans

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Technology can compensate for memory impairment. The efficacy of assistive technology for people with memory difficulties and the methodology of selected studies are assessed. A systematic search was performed and all studies that investigated the impact of technology on memory performance for adults with impaired memory resulting from acquired brain injury (ABI) or a degenerative disease were included. Two 10-point scales were used to compare each study to an ideally reported single case experimental design (SCED) study (SCED scale; Tate et al., 2008) or randomised control group study (PEDro-P scale; Maher, Sherrington, Herbert, Moseley, & Elkins, 2003). Thirty-two SCED (mean = 5.9 on the SCED scale) and 11 group studies (mean = 4.45 on the PEDro-P scale) were found. Baseline and intervention performance for each participant in the SCED studies was re-calculated using non-overlap of all pairs (Parker & Vannest, 2009) giving a mean score of 0.85 on a 0 to 1 scale (17 studies, n = 36). A meta-analysis of the efficacy of technology vs. control in seven group studies gave a large effect size (d = 1.27) (n = 147). It was concluded that prosthetic technology can improve performance on everyday tasks requiring memory. There is a specific need for investigations of technology for people with degenerative diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-444
Number of pages26
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Issue number3-4
Early online date19 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2014


  • memory aid
  • assistive technology
  • memory impairment
  • cognitive rehabilitation
  • brain injury
  • degenerative disease

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