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The European voice for informal carers

An innovative intervention on teaching English to people with Mild Cognitive Impairment with the use of songs

People with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) need to improve their cognitive functions in order to avoid the deterioration of their condition. Cognitive abilities can be improved by learning a foreign language. Due to the cognitive deficits of MCI people, conventional methods that teaching English cannot have significant results. The use of songs in teaching English is proved to be a promising method for more effective acquisition of the language while also improving cognitive functions and symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Alzheimer Hellas has created an innovative protocol. This learning method had been designed by combining elements from four methodologies in language learning “Communicative Language Teaching”, “Natural Approach”, “(De) suggestopedia” and “Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)”. The intervention of this study involves a randomized controlled trial design with two arms (an intervention arm and a control group) over a nine-month period and is provided twice a week. Participants are people with MCI aged 60–85 years, of both genders. A sample size of 90 participants is targeted based on expected neuropsychological test performance, and drop-out rates. Interventions are provided by trained staff with a control group not receiving any intervention but continuing life as usual. Assessments will be done at baseline, and nine months, and include neuropsychological tests to measure for changes in cognition. Secondary outcome measures include mood changes in anxiety, depression and quality of life. All efficacy statistical analysis will be carried out on an intention to treat basis. Primary and secondary outcomes will be modeled using the linear mixed model for repeated measurements and further analysis will be undertaken.

This is the first study to implement and assess this intervention in a randomized controlled trial. We expect that this study protocol could prevent cognitive decline, decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety and significantly impact quality of life and the wellbeing of people with MCI.

If you want to learn more about the project visit our website

Makri Marina, Psychotherapist, Greek Association of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders,

Magda Tsolaki, Neuropsychiatric Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Chair of Panhellenic Federation of Alzheimer’s Disease

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