Nurse-enhanced memory intervention in heart failure: The memoir study

Susan J. Pressler, Barbara Therrien, Penny L. Riley, Cheng Chen Chou, David L. Ronis, Todd M. Koelling, Dean G. Smith, Barbara Jean Sullivan, Ann Marie Frankini, Bruno Giordani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Many patients with heart failure (HF) have cognitive deficits, including memory loss. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a cognitive training intervention on memory (primary outcome), working memory, psychomotor speed, executive function, and performance of cognitive activities and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Methods and Results: Forty patients with HF were randomly assigned to the computerized plasticity-based cognitive training intervention called Brain Fitness or to the health education active control intervention. Advanced practice nurses made weekly home visits to assess symptoms and monitor intervention adherence. Patients completed demographic and clinical data (baseline), neuropsychologic tests (baseline and 8 and 12 weeks), and measures of cognitive and IADLs performance (baseline and 12 weeks) and satisfaction (12 weeks). Linear mixed models analyses indicated a significant group by time interaction for delayed recall memory (P =.032) and a significant time effect for total (list learning) (P <.001) and delayed (P =.015) recall memory, psychomotor speed (P =.029), and performance of IADLs (P =.006). Intervention adherence and patient satisfaction were high. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this was the first test of Brain Fitness in HF. Although it was a preliminary study with limitations, results support the need for a larger randomized controlled trial to determine whether the memory loss of HF is amenable to plasticity-based interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-843
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • cognitive deficits
  • cognitive training
  • Heart failure
  • memory loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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