Cognitive rehabilitation for Parkinson’s disease (Spencer et al., 2019)

Purpose: Cognitive deficits are common in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and can have a detrimental effect on daily activities. To date, most cognitive treatments have had an impairment-based focus with primary outcome measures of formal neuropsychological test scores. Few, if any, studies have focused on functional improvement or patient-centered goals.
Method: Three individuals with idiopathic PD participated in an 8-week pilot treatment program to train for the use of compensatory external aids to achieve personalized goals. Goal attainment scaling was the primary outcome measure, which was independently judged by multiple raters at baseline, postintervention, and 1 month posttreatment and analyzed via T-score analysis. Descriptive measures, including self-report and spouse-report rating scales of cognitive functioning, were employed.
Results: All 3 participants improved in the majority of their laboratory and home goals posttreatment, as measured by goal attainment scaling, and maintained gains for the majority of goals 1 month posttreatment.
Conclusions: This is the 1st known study to implement an external aids treatment program with patient-centered goals for individuals with cognitive deficits from PD. Positive outcomes were likely influenced by 3 factors: (a) a theoretically motivated focus on external aids; (b) a well-documented, systematic approach to instruction; and (c) the personalization of goals.

Supplemental Material S1. Individual goals per goal attainment scaling method.

Supplemental Material S2. Treatment session sample.

Spencer, K. A., Paul, J., Brown, K. A., Ellerbrock, T., & Sohlberg, M. M. (2019). Cognitive rehabilitation for individuals with Parkinson's disease: Developing and piloting an external aids treatment program. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_AJSLP-19-0078