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Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 2014 Oct-Dec;28(4):333-9. doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000028.

The effects of spaced retrieval combined with errorless learning in institutionalized elders with dementia: recall performance, cognitive status, and food intake.

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  • 1*School of Nursing, and Department of Nursing, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung †Institute of Clinical and Community Health Nursing §Insitute of Health and Welfare Policy, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei ‡Department of Nursing, Hsin-Sheng College of Medical Care and Management, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


The purpose of this study was to explore the effects on recall performance, cognitive status, and food intake when using accumulating cues in a spaced retrieval (SR) paradigm. In a double-blinded experimental design, 32 participants in the SR combined with errorless learning (SR/EL) group and 29 participants in the SR-only group were trained in a variety of eating-related actions. Accumulating cues were used within each SR trial in the SR/EL group. The participants' recall performance, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores, and the portion of a meal that participants had eaten were measured. After the 8-week training period, results showed significantly improved recall performances (P<0.0031) and food intake (t=2.140, P=0.038) in the SR/EL group compared with the SR-only group. MMSE scores showed no significant differences after the 8-week intervention (t=1.315, P=0.194). Results suggest that an SR/EL intervention could create optimal learning conditions for the self-regulation of common eating difficulties in people with dementia.

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