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Effects of cognitive speed of processing training on a composite neuropsychological outcome: results at one-year from the IHAMS randomized controlled trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2015

Fredric D. Wolinsky*
John W. Colloton Chair of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Mark W. Vander Weg
Investigator, Center for Comprehensive Access and Delivery Research and Evaluation, Iowa City VA HealthCare System, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
M. Bryant Howren
Investigator, Center for Comprehensive Access and Delivery Research and Evaluation, Iowa City VA HealthCare System, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Michael P. Jones
Professor of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Megan M. Dotson
Project Coordinator, College of Nursing, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
Correspondence should be addressed to: Fredric D. Wolinsky, John W. Colloton Chair of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA. Phone: +319-384-3821; Fax: +319-384-4371. Email:



Age-related cognitive decline is common and well-documented. Cognitive speed of processing training (SOPT) has been shown to improve trained abilities (Useful Field of View; UFOV), but transfer to individual non-trained cognitive outcomes or neuropsychological composites is sparse. We examine the effects of SOPT on a composite of six equally weighted tests – UFOV, Trail-making A and B, Symbol Digit Modality, Controlled Oral Word Association, Stroop Color and Word, and Digit Vigilance.


681 patients were randomized separately within two age-bands (50–64, ≥ 65) to three SOPT groups (10 initial hours on-site, 10 initial hours on-site plus 4 hours of boosters, or 10 initial hours at-home) or an attention-control group (10 initial hours on-site of crossword puzzles). At one-year, 587 patients (86.2%) had complete data. A repeated measures linear mixed model was used.


Factor analysis revealed a simple unidimensional structure with Cronbach's α of 0.82. The time effect was statistically significant (p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.246), but the time by treatment group (p = 0.331), time by age-band (p = 0.463), and time by treatment group by age-band (p = 0.564) effects were not.


Compared to the attention-control group who played a computerized crossword puzzle game, assignment to 10–14 hours of SOPT did not significantly improve a composite measure of cognitive abilities.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2015 

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