Abby Popp

A Comparison of Memory Aid Use by Adults with and without Traumatic Brain Injury

Memory impairments are common lasting complaints following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Memory compensations are implemented by speech-language pathologists to address and assist persisting memory challenges and are supported by significant research evidence. Despite this strong research backing, successful uptake and maintenance of these strategies varies significantly across individuals. The real-world effectiveness of memory compensation depends on the successful transfer of strategies learned in the clinic to daily life. This study seeks to better understand factors that contribute to the use of memory compensation in adults with TBI. An additional goal of the study is to examine potential differences in memory compensation use (both in type and frequency of use) between adults with TBI and neurotypical adults. Previous studies have compared a person’s use of memory aids prior to their brain injury with their use after their brain injury, via retrospective self-report. However, no study has directly compared memory compensation use in individuals with TBI to neurotypical adults. There is an assumption that individuals with TBI will use more compensatory memory aids following their injury, to compensate for newly-acquired memory impairments. But, neurotypical adults also use memory aids (calendars, smartphone reminders) to support day-to-day memory demands. Therefore, our primary research questions are: 1) Do individuals with TBI report increased memory compensation use compared to neurotypical adults? 2) What factors predict memory compensation use in both patients with TBI and neurotypical participants? Results of this study may help to inform clinical decision-making regarding selection of memory compensations for adults with TBI.

Video file