Dement Neurocogn Disord.  2020 Sep;19(3):96-107. 10.12779/dnd.2020.19.3.96.

Four-Week, Home-Based, Robot Cognitive Intervention for Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment: a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

  • 1Department of Neurology, Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Ewha Medical Research Institute, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea


Background and Purpose
Previous studies suggest that cognitive intervention can mitigate the development of dementia in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, the previous cognitive intervention was mostly provided as a group session, in which MCI patients sometimes had difficulty in regularly attending sessions or were reluctant to participate in group-based classes. Additionally, experienced instructors for traditional cognitive intervention may be unavailable in some chronic-care facilities or community centers. Considering these reasons, we have developed 5 programs for home-based cognitive intervention using a personal robot for MCI patients. In this preliminary study, we aimed to demonstrate the effects of our newly developed home-based cognitive intervention with robots on cognitive function in MCI patients.
We conducted a single-blind randomized controlled trial enrolling 46 MCI patients. Participants were randomized into 2 groups: the robot cognitive intervention (robot) (n=24) group and without cognitive intervention (control) (n=22) group. The interventions comprised 60-min sessions per day for 4 weeks. The primary outcome was the change in cognitive function measured using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery.
There were no significant baseline demographic or clinical differences between the robot and control groups. After the 4-week cognitive intervention, the robot group showed greater improvement in working memory than did the control group.
Our home-based cognitive intervention with a personal robot improved the working memory in MCI patients. Further studies with larger samples and longer study periods are required to demonstrate the effects of these programs in other cognitive domains in MCI patients.


Cognitive Intervention; Mild Cognitive Impairment; Working Memory; Home-Based; Personal Robot
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