International Journal of Gerontology
Improving Cognitive Function in Older Adults through Mental Abacus Training: A Single-Arm Pilot Study
Supplementary MaterialNo data
Background: Mental abacus training is a potential tool for enhancing cognitive function. However, no related research has been conducted on older adults.
Aims: This prospective single-arm pilot studywas conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of mental abacus (MA) training on cognitive function in older adults.
Methods: Cognitive function was assessed at baseline and 3 months after training completion by using the Taiwanese Version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and Color Trails Test 1 (CTT1) and 2 (CTT2). Participants with a MoCA score of < 26 were subgrouped into the high-risk group, whereas those with a MoCA score of ≥ 26 were subgrouped into the low-risk group.
Results: A total of 80 participants completed MA training. The total MoCA score was 24.6 ± 3.7, CTT1 time was 71.3 ± 46.5 seconds, and CTT2 time was 132.2 ± 85.4 seconds at baseline. After MA training, the MoCA scores (p < .01) and CTT2 time (p < .01) improved comparing with baseline in the overall participants and the high-risk group. In the low-risk group, only CCT2 time improved (p < .01) after MA training.
Discussion: MA training enhanced cognitive function in older adults, especially in the group with low baseline MoCA score. Control without MA training should be included in future studies for confirming the effects ofMA training.
Conclusion: MA is a potential culturally adapted cognitive stimulation for older adults in Taiwan.