Nonimmersive Brain Gaming for Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment: A Scoping Review

Pallavi Sood, Sandra L. Kletzel, Shilpa Krishnan, Hannes Devos, Ahmed Negm, Lilian Hoffecker, Joseph MacHtinger, Xiaolei Hu, Patricia C. Heyn, Rachel Pruchno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Technological advances have allowed a variety of computerized cognitive training tools to be engineered in ways that are fun and entertaining yet challenging at a level that can maintain motivation and engagement. This revolution has created an opportunity for gerontological scientists to evaluate brain gaming approaches to improve cognitive and everyday function. The purpose of this scoping review is to provide a critical overview of the existing literature on nonimmersive, electronic brain gaming interventions in older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Research Design and Methods: Systematic search was conducted using 7 electronic databases from inception through July 2017. A comprehensive 2-level eligibility process was used to identify studies for inclusion based on PRISMA guidelines. Results: Seventeen studies met eligibility criteria. Majority of the studies were randomized controlled trials (n = 13) and incorporated an active control (n = 9). Intervention doses ranged from 4 to 24 weeks in duration with an average of 8.4 (±5.1 standard deviation [SD]) weeks. Session durations ranged from 30 to 100 min with an average of 54 (±25 SD) minutes. Nearly half of studies included a follow-up, ranging from 3 months to 5 years (n = 8). For most studies, brain gaming improved at least one cognitive outcome (n = 12); only one study reported improvement in activities of daily living. Discussion and Implications: This scoping review conveys the breadth of an emerging research field, which will help guide future research to develop standards and recommendations for brain gaming interventions which are currently lacking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E764-E781
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 16 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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