Prospective Memory Functioning After Stroke: A Research Portfolio
Barr, Arlene Cameron
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Background: Prospective memory is the ability to remember to carry out previously planned actions at an appropriate point in the future. Impairments in prospective memory have been found in a range of neurological conditions. While it is assumed that stroke patients will have similar deficits, there is currently a dearth of evidence to support this. Methods: A between-subjects design was employed to compare 22 community-dwelling stroke patients to 22 healthy adult controls on a standardised objective measure of prospective memory. Subjective reports of everyday memory were measured using a validated questionnaire. Standardised tests were also administered to measure retrospective memory and executive functioning. Results: Stroke patient’s prospective memory performance was significantly poorer than controls. Depression had a significant influence on time-based prospective memory tasks. Executive functioning was shown to be a good predictor of overall prospective memory ability. Stroke patient’s insight into their everyday memory abilities was incomplete. Conclusion: Prospective memory abilities are reduced after stroke. In light of the potential impact of such difficulties on everyday functioning, this aspect of cognitive functioning should be routinely assessed in clinical practice.