Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Cognitive impairment is a common symptom for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). This study evaluated the effects of an occupational therapy training protocol using personal digital assistants (PDAs) as assistive technology for people with cognitive impairment related to MS.

METHODS. Twenty participants were trained to use PDAs by an occupational therapist. Assessments of functional performance were taken at the start of an 8-week pretreatment period, at the beginning and end of training, and 8 weeks after the conclusion of training.

RESULTS. Participants demonstrated the ability to learn how to use basic PDA functions and retain learning for at least 8 weeks. Functional performance increased significantly with PDA use, and this gain was maintained at 8-week follow-up.

CONCLUSION. This study provides evidence of an association between an intervention providing training in the use of a PDA and improvements in the everyday function of people with cognitive impairment related to MS.

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