Evaluation of a novel technology-based program designed to assess and train everyday skills in older adults

Sara J. Czaja, Peter Kallestrup, Philip D. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Performance of everyday activities is often challenging for older adults. We evaluated a novel computer-based functional skills assessment and training (CFSAT) program, which includes simulations of everyday tasks (e.g., money and medication management). Research Design and Methods: The sample included noncognitively impaired (NC) older adults (n = 51) and cognitively impaired (CI) older adults (n = 43), who ranged in age from 60 to 86 years (M = 73.12; SD = 6.06), were primarily female (90%), and ethnically diverse (23% Hispanic, 51% African American). Participants (stratified by cognitive status) were randomized to 1 of the 2 conditions training alone (CFSAT) or CFSAT with computerized cognitive training and trained up to 24 training sessions. Task performance, using measures of completion time and efficiency (accuracy/completion time), was evaluated at baseline, the final training session, and immediately posttraining with an alternate form of the CFSAT assessment. Results: Both NC and CI participants demonstrated significant performance improvements across all tasks following training (all ps <. 001). The CI participants demonstrated reduced training gains compared to the NC participants (all ps <. 001). Training gains did not vary as a function of training conditions. Discussion and Implications: The findings suggest that CFSAT is an efficacious program for assessing and training everyday task performance. CFSAT can ultimately be used as an intervention strategy to enhance functional independence for aging adults with and without cognitive impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInnovation in Aging
Volume4
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Independence
  • Information technology
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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