Difficulty with memory function is one of the most common symptoms for people with a brain injury. A recent study about memory rehabilitation found that simple smartphone tasks could be beneficial for people following their brain injury, helping to reduce its negative effects.

Following a traumatic brain injury, one of the most common symptoms reported is a decline in memory function, especially prospective memory. Prospective memory involves remembering a task or action at a given time, such as going to a doctor’s appointment at noon or taking medication before bed.

Since memory is a vital part of daily function and quality of life, many types of restorative and compensatory therapies exist that aim to restore memory capabilities in patients following injury – in particular, researchers in the Central Denmark Region tested the effectiveness of completing tasks on a smartphone at rehabilitating memory ability in patients with TBI. The 14-day study involved writing an e-mail on certain days detailing what the participant forgot that day and a daily memory journal, which asked participants to recount the number of appointments they had, how many they forgot, etc. Results from the questionnaire done after treatment showed a decrease in memory complaints compared to before treatment, as well as two months after the treatment period. Though no other symptoms were significantly different following intervention, 77 percent of participants continued to use the smartphone afterwards, compared to the 23 percent that used the calendar app before. This indicates the potential of smartphone use as a device for memory rehabilitation, especially as smartphone and neurological technology advances in the coming years.

Disability and Rehabilitation, 2017. DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1333633