Prospective Memory Training for Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review

Pak Lik Tsang (Corresponding Author), May Lan Alma Mary Gerardina Au, Hay Ming Lo

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This review systematically synthesizes existing evidence of prospective memory training for healthy older adults (> 55 years). Existing prospective memory training include strategy-based, process-based and combined regimens. Strategy-based training focuses on different mnemonics to compensate for aging declines in prospective memory. Process-based training aims to restore related cognitive processes to support prospective memory. Combined training utilizes both strategy-based and process-based regimens to enhance prospective memory performance. Methods: A total of 349 studies were identified from the Cochrane Library, EBSCO, PsycINFO and PubMed databases. Results: Using predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria, 11 studies were included in the review. There were six studies of strategy-based training, two studies of process-based training and three studies of combined training. Conclusions: Overall, strategy-based training appears to facilitate prospective memory for healthy older adults. However, it is impossible to draw conclusions for process-based and combined training due to the preliminary nature of current evidence. Clinical Implications: Mental imagery or the use of external aids can be useful strategy-based approaches to facilitate prospective memory in older adults. Strategy-based training should target multiple prospective memory phases simultaneously to encourage transfers. Further studies will be required to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of process-based and combined training.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2021


  • Aging
  • healthy older adults
  • memory training
  • prospective memory
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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