Date of Conferral







Susana Verdinelli


Although cognitive rehabilitation is not a new field of intervention, as it dates back to the treatment of brain-injured soldiers during World War I, the use of cognitive rehabilitation intervention therapies for individuals with dementia and mild cognitive impairment has yet to draw definite conclusions about its effectiveness. Based on the conceptual framework of biopsychosocial theoretical model, this study explored to what extend cognitive rehabilitation intervention was effective in improving the memory and mood functioning of elderly adults with mild cognitive impairments. An archived data set of 216 elderly adults collected at a midwestern agency in the United States during the period of May 2012 through December 2013 was used. Wilcoxon matched pair tests were used to assess elders' changes in memory and mood functioning. Results indicated that there were no significant changes in memory skills or mood functioning found after the elderly individuals participated in the cognitive rehabilitation program within the 18-month period of continuous intervention training. Several limitations could explain these results including a small sample size of 88 participants that finished the 18-month program; the quality of the assessment process; and the lack of further information on the archived data such as demographics, patients' medication regimen, or type of family support. Health care professionals, families, and caretakers may use these results to understand the importance of closely monitoring the training and checking for positive results and adjusting the intervention as needed. Results of the study also highlighted the importance of focusing on promoting a take-charge collaborative approach to awareness and life satisfaction which is a salient implication for positive social change.