Behaviour Change Techniques in Computerized Cognitive Training for Cognitively Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review

Neuropsychology review

Neuropsychol Rev. 2023 Mar;33(1):238-254. doi: 10.1007/s11065-022-09537-4. Epub 2022 Feb 14.


We aimed to describe behaviour change techniques (BCT) used in trials evaluating computerised cognitive training (CCT) in cognitively healthy older adults, and explore whether BCTs are associated with improved adherence and efficacy. The 90 papers included in a recent meta-analysis were reviewed for information about adherence and use of BCTs in accordance with the Behaviour Change Taxonomy. Studies using a specific BCT were compared with studies not using that BCT on efficacy (difference in Hedges' g [Δg]) using three level meta-regression models and on median adherence using the Wilcoxon test. The median number of BCTs per study was 3 (interquartile range [IQR] = 2-5). 'Feedback on behaviour' (if provided by a person; Δg = -0.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.31;-0.07) and 'non-specific reward' (Δg = -0.19, CI = -0.34;-0.05) were associated with lower efficacy. Certain BCTs that involve personal contact may be beneficial, although none were statistically significantly associated with greater efficacy. The median percentage of adherence was 90% (IQR = 81-95). Adherence was higher in studies using the BCT 'self-monitoring of behaviour' and lower in studies using the BCT 'graded tasks' than studies not using these BCTs (p < 0.001). These findings provide first evidence that BCTs can influence both adherence to and efficacy of CCT programs in cognitively healthy older adults.

PMID:35157209 | PMC:PMC9998598 | DOI:10.1007/s11065-022-09537-4