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A Clinical Pilot Study of Spaced Retrieval Practice with a Self-Generation Booster to Improve Health-Related Memory in Persons With HIV Disease.

Woods SP, Babicz MA, Matchanova A, Sullivan KL, Avci G, Hasbun R, Giordano TP, Fazeli P, Morgan EE. A Clinical Pilot Study of Spaced Retrieval Practice with a Self-Generation Booster to Improve Health-Related Memory in Persons With HIV Disease. Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists. 2021 Oct 13; 36(7):1296-1306.

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OBJECTIVE: Spaced retrieval practice (SRP) and self-generation are among the most replicated and effective mnemonic strategies in the cognitive psychology literature, but their benefits have not yet been realized in healthcare settings. This study used a randomized, between-subjects design to examine the hypothesis that SRP with a self-generation booster can improve memory for health-related information among clinically referred persons with HIV (PWH), who often have difficulty acquiring new health knowledge. METHOD: A consecutive series of 41 PWH referred to a county-funded urban neuropsychology clinic were enrolled. Participants were randomly assigned to learn four statements about the treatment of a mock infectious disease in either a massed study control condition (n  =  20) or an SRP condition (n  =  21) in which they received two distributed free recall training tests supplemented with self-generation for missed items. The primary outcome was participants'' free recall of the four treatment statements after a 20-minute delay filled with nonverbal tests. RESULTS: PWH participants in the SRP condition were four times more likely than controls to recall at least one treatment statement at the 20-minute delay. SRP was not related to post-test recognition or health-related decision-making performance but was associated with moderately better self-efficacy for decision-making. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this pilot study show the potential of SRP with a self-generation booster to improve learning and memory for health-related information among PWH in clinic.

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