Poster B57, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Leveraging the Test Effect to Improve Maintenance of the Gains Achieved Through Cognitive Rehabilitation
Rhonda Friedman1, Sarah Snider1, Kevin Jones1; 1Georgetown University
Reports of successful treatments for language impairments in persons with aphasia subsequent to stroke are growing. Unfortunately, treatment gains often fade soon after the treatment ends. This study employs the Test Effect, a validated principle of learning taken from the fields of psychology and education, in an attempt to improve long-term maintenance of treatment effects in stroke rehabilitation. Seven individuals with mild to severe anomia subsequent to stroke trained semiweekly on problematic words over the course of three months. Training sessions consisted of two ‘study’ blocks and two ‘test’ blocks. Once learned, words were assigned to one of four over-training conditions: test only, study only, test and study, or no over-training (drop-out). Participants returned for post-testing at one month, four months, and one year post-treatment. Over-training provided a significant boost to maintenance. This was particularly true for test over-training, which was consistently superior to drop-out for all participants at all time points. Further, the effect of testing on maintenance was greater than the effect of studying. There was a significant advantage for over-tested items as compared to over-studied items at one month (ChiSquare (7, 852) = 28.00, p < .0001), four months (ChiSquare (6, 744) = 8.63, p = .004), and one year (ChiSquare (4, 474) = 9.12, p = .003) following the end of training. Importantly, findings were consistent across participants regardless of degree of anomia. Our results suggest that continued testing of learned material could be an effective means to reinforce treatment gains in cognitive rehabilitation protocols.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other