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Title: Working memory training for children following childhood stroke : a pilot study
Author: Eve, Megan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 0515
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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Cognitive deficits in the domains of working memory (WM) and executive function are well documented following Childhood Arterial Ischaemic Stroke (AIS), though there are currently no evidence based cognitive interventions for this population. Computerised implicit WM training has been demonstrated to generate generalised cognitive gains for children with WM and attention deficits and for adults following stroke. This study investigated the long-term cognitive outcomes of childhood AIS and evaluated the efficacy and feasibility of an implicit WM training program for this population. A pre-post pilot design was used and both quantitative and qualitative outcomes were considered. Results suggested that, following AIS, the cognitive profiles of young people remains relatively stable over time. All partic.ipants who completed the intervention (N= 7) demonstrated improvements on untrained WM tasks and functional gains were reported by participants. In contrast to similar studies, no consistent improvements on measures of attention or executive function were observed following the intervention. The intervention was acceptable and feasible for most participants, though barriers to training, such as lack of parental support, were identified. This study concluded that following AIS, children's brains maintain the potential of plasticity. Implicit WM training is deemed a feasible intervention, which can produce improved working memory skills, for some children following AIS. The study highlights the potential role of technology in rehabilitation, as well as the importance of research to determine how interventions can be most effectively targeted. Follow-up data collection is needed to establish the impact of the intervention on academic attainment for this sample. The findings support further research, including randomised, controlled trials, to investigate cognitive interventions for this population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available