The efficacy of treatment methods in the utilization of external memory aids by head-injured individuals

Elmer Ray Potts, Tennessee State University


Memory problems, that frequently accompany traumatic brain-injury, impaired a sample of eight subjects who resided in a head-injury rehabilitation facility. The severity of the impairments was such that the subjects needed assistance in taking their daily medications. The purpose of the study was to evaluate treatment methods (i.e., group versus individual) while teaching subjects to take their medications by using an alarm wristwatch as an external memory aid. The eight subjects were matched on the variables of time since injury and MQ score of the Wechsler Memory Scale, then randomly assigned to treatment conditions. Treatment was provided by an A-B-A-B quasi-experimental fashion. Statistical evaluation consisted of a dual approach with both parametric and time-series analyses performed. Results indicated that the external memory aids significantly increased the performance of six of the subjects in taking their medications more independently. There were no statistical differences found between the two treatment types, although subjects treated in a "group" format tended to perform at a higher level than did those treated individually. Time since injury was not related to performance. However, gender was associated with performance, with female subjects tending to do better than males. Memory scores were positively correlated with performance scores. Implications of the study included a discussion of the cost-effectiveness of group treatment, and recommendations for future research.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Mental health

Recommended Citation

Elmer Ray Potts, "The efficacy of treatment methods in the utilization of external memory aids by head-injured individuals" (1987). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9017212.