Exploring assessment of prospective memory after stroke utilizing virtual reality

New paper by Hopkins Researcher Dr Christy Hogan, supported by researchers A/Prof Petrea Cornwell from Griffith University, Prof Jennifer Fleming from the University of Queensland, and Prof David Man and Prof David Shum from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, explores the assessment of prospective memory after stroke utilising virtual reality. This work has helped to clarify that PM impairment does exist after stroke, possibly due to a problem in strategic monitoring. Additionally, this work demonstrates that VR technology can be used in the measurement of cognitive function post-stroke.

Impairment in Prospective memory (PM), the ability to remember to do something in the future, can impact on an individuals' level of independence and daily functioning. While PM impairment is commonly self-reported after stroke, little research has been conducted on PM ability post-stroke, with mixed findings dependent on the type of measure used (i.e., self-report, significant-other report, laboratory tasks, psychometric/clinical measures, and single-item measures). Many PM tasks have been criticised for their lack of ecological validity wherein the test results may not be consistent with actual performance in daily life. With ecological validity in mind, the Virtual Reality Prospective Memory Shopping Task (VRPMST) was designed to assess both time- and event-based PM. The current study examined the ecological and convergent validity of the VRPMST compared to an experimental (LDPMT) and clinical measure of PM (CAMPROMPT) with individuals with stroke and neurologically healthy controls. Preliminary findings suggest PM impairment post-stroke, particularly time-based PM, possibly due to lower levels of strategic monitoring. Overall, the current findings add to the little research that has been conducted focusing on PM after stroke, highlighting potential impairments and that more research needs to be conducted to determine the significance of PM impairment after stroke and potential reasons for these impairments so that clinicians and researchers can assist in the rehabilitation of PM after stroke. Given the benefits of using VR to assess PM and the favourable participant ratings, it is suggested that future research continue to develop and improve the paradigms to accurately and effectively measure PM after stroke and in other clinical populations. 

Read the publication here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10055-021-00576-5 

Tags: Stroke, Virtual Reality, Prospective Memory

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