Improving Prospective Memory in Persons with Parkinson Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Erin R. Foster, Mark A. McDaniel, Peter G. Rendell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background. Prospective memory (PM) is essential for productive and independent living and necessary for compliance with prescribed health behaviors. Parkinson disease (PD) can cause PM deficits that are associated with activity limitations and reduced quality of life. Forming implementation intentions (IIs) is an encoding strategy that may improve PM in this population. Objective. To determine the effect of IIs on PM performance in PD. Methods. This was a laboratory-based randomized controlled trial. Participants with mild to moderate PD without dementia (n = 62) performed a computerized PM test (Virtual Week) under standard instructions. One week later they were randomly allocated to perform it again while using either IIs or a rehearsal (RR) encoding strategy. Results. PM performance was better with the use of both strategies relative to standard instructions. This effect was larger for tasks with event-based compared with time-based cues. In addition, IIs resulted in a larger effect than RR for the nonrepeated tasks. Conclusions. Strategies that support full encoding of PM cues and actions can improve PM performance among people with PD, particularly for tasks with cues that are readily available in the environment. IIs may be more effective than RR for nonrepeated tasks, but this finding warrants verification. Future work should address transfer of strategy use from the laboratory to everyday life. Targeted strategies to manage PM impairment could improve function and quality of life and significantly affect clinical care for people with PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-461
Number of pages11
JournalNeurorehabilitation and neural repair
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Parkinson disease
  • executive function
  • intention
  • memory
  • randomized controlled trial
  • rehabilitation


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