Effectiveness of cognitive training in Chinese older people with subjective cognitive complaints: A randomized placebo-controlled trial

Timothy C.Y. Kwok, Xue Bai, Jessie C.Y. Li, Florence K.Y. Ho, Tatia M.C. Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Objective This study examines the short-term and long-term effects of a cognitive training (CT) program in enhancing cognitive function of older people with subjective memory complaints. Methods A single-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial was carried out in a sample of 223 older adults aged 65 years or above with subjective memory complaints in Hong Kong. They were randomly assigned to either receive CT (intervention group, N = 111) or attend health-related educational lectures only (control group, N = 112). Participants' cognitive abilities were assessed by the Chinese version of Mattis Dementia Rating Scale at baseline, immediately after the training, and nine months after the training. Results Significant interaction effect of CT and education was detected on participants' CT gains at both T2 (F(2, 200) = 6.329, p = 0.002, η2 = 0.060) and T3 (F(2, 189) = 3.294, p = 0.039, η2 = 0.034). Conclusions Cognitive training was effective in enhancing the overall cognitive functioning of less educated older adults with subjective memory complaints. The positive effect was durable for at least nine months in two cognitive areas, namely conceptualization and memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-215
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • cognitive training
  • randomized placebo-controlled trial
  • subjective memory complaints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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