The Cognition Game Study
Cognitive remediation in psychiatric patients with an applied online cognitive game and assessment tool
The Academic Medical Center (AMC) has worked together with the company MyCognition to investigate the effect of a new online training game to improve cognitive functioning in psychiatric patients. The cognitive game works in unison with a short online cognitive assessment tool, that the AMC validated.
Cognitive impairment is a major problem for psychiatric patients, and can greatly affect daily functioning. However, treatment possibilities of these cognitive impairments are still limited. Cognitive remediation within a clinical setting can be costly and time-consuming. The repetitive nature can also be tedious and unattractive for patients. Offering cognitive training through an online portal in a gamified format could improve on accessibility and acceptability and can be a cost-efficient alternative.
We performed a randomized controlled trial, in which 87 patients with different psychiatric disorders either played the game for 12 weeks from home, or received treatment as usual. Cognitive functioning, psychosocial functioning and clinical symptoms were measured at the beginning and end of the training period.
The results showed that the cognitive assessment tool was a reasonably valid measure of cognition, comparing well to another validated cognitive assessment battery. It is much shorter than regular cognitive assessment tools and can be easily completed from home without supervision, making it cost-efficient. Unfortunately, only a small part of the patients adhered to the required training-time. However, the patients who played the game for the required minimum of 12 hours during the 12-week period, improved more in working memory and showed trend-improvements in global cognition and executive functioning compared to the patients who did not play the game. The game can have cognitive benefits for those patients that manage to stay with the training.