Evidence-Based Practice for the Use of External Aids As a Memory Compensation Technique (Ancds Bulletin Board)
This article is one of a series of publications by the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences (ANCDS) on evidence-based practice (EBP) in the clinical management of neurogenic communication disorders. The EBP project was initiated in 1997 with the creation of expert committees charged with reviewing the literature in order to develop evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for a range of neurogenic communication disorders. The scope and mission of the EBP project are described in detail in previous publications (Golper et al., 2001; Yorkston et al., 2001). This article was generated by the subcommittee on cognitive-communication disorders associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Previous publications from this subcommittee include a clinical practice guidelines document on direct attention training (Sohlberg et al., 2003), a technical report (Turkstra et al., 2003) and an accompanying practice guidelines document on standardized cognitive-communicative assessment (Turkstra et al., 2005), an overview of clinical principles and assumptions about cognitive-communication disorders in a committee report (Kennedy et al., 2002), and a practical perspective on the application of evidence for clinical decision making (Ylvisaker et al., 2002). The EBP writing group also published a series of articles in an issue of Seminars in Speech and Language dedicated to evidence-based practice for cognitive-communication disorders after TBI (Turkstra, 2005). The purpose of this article is to examine the literature on the efficacy of using external aids for the management of memory disorders in order to generate clinical recommendations for treatment providers. The degree and nature of persistent memory deficits vary among people with brain injury, although there are common patterns of impairment. For example, many individuals experience more difficulty storing and retrieving personal experiences than they do storing procedural information. Alternatively, memory deficits are often related to impairments in attention or working memory (Sohlberg & Mateer, 2001). External aids can compensate for a variety of memory impairments.