Clinicians report memory as a primary post-injury target of cognitive rehabilitation. Individuals with acquired brain injury and their families report memory deficits as one of the worst and most persisting post-injury problems. This chapter will report on the evidence base supporting memory intervention and will present therapeutic approaches targeting remediation of memory deficits.
Dr. Therese M. O’Neil-Pirozzi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northeastern University and is Associate Project Director of the Spaulding/Harvard TBI Model System at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, both in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. O’Neil-Pirozzi’s research work focuses on acquired brain injury across the lifespan, with a particular focus on memory impairment. She has been a practicing clinician for over twenty years, evaluating and treating individuals in a variety of educational and medical settings. Dr. O’Neil-Pirozzi has authored/co-authored numerous publications, many related to traumatic brain injury. Dr. O’Neil-Pirozzi presents frequently on the ‘state of the art’ and the ‘state of the science’ of acquired brain injury. Her other clinical and research interests include using neuromodulation to improve cognitive-communicative function and optimizing care for family caregivers of acquired brain injury survivors. Dr. O’Neil-Pirozzi serves as Chair of the Academy of Neurologic Sciences and Disorders TBI Research Writing Committee.
It is important that the memory interventions used with patients are evidence-based and that they incorporate principles of learning theory. This chapter will provide an update on the ‘state of the science’ of memory intervention and describe three phases of learning that memory interventions should incorporate.
Traditionally, memory interventions are described as being of two types: restorative and compensatory. It is important that memory training approaches are informed by multiple patient factors. This chapter will define both types of interventions and identify patient candidacy considerations for each.
Errorless learning, spaced retrieval, and metacognitive strategy training are three commonly used, evidence-supported techniques used therapeutically to improve memory. This chapter will describe these techniques, patient candidacy for them, and their importance facilitating intervention outcomes.