Research - 2015 Pilot Study

A pilot study was conducted over the summer of 2015 to obtain results that could be used to develop methods for the 2018 thesis study. The 2015 pilot study examined memory recall of recent daily social events.

This study involved an experimental design, whereby participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The study involved an intervention group that used the simple memory tool to assist with memory recall of daily social events, and a control group that used their own strategies for memory recall of daily social events. The main outcome measure was memory recall of social events. Twelve older adults participated in the pilot study.

The pre-intervention session began with an informed consent procedure followed by a demographics questionnaire. Memory measures included a memory recall test for recent daily social events.

During the 7 days between the sessions: a) the intervention group followed the simple memory tool for social events; and b) the control group followed their own memory strategies.

The post-intervention session included the memory recall test for recent daily social events again. The participant also provided feedback on the study.

Simple Memory Tool
On a daily basis, participants would write detailed descriptions of what they wanted to remember from social events over the seven days. The items on the checklists were instructions to read all diary entries they recorded for the week.

The above figure is an example of a work form that was used for the simple memory tool. In the morning, afternoon, and evening the participant read their social contact diaries. The participant had contact with two people that day (Brenda and Joey). She talked to Brenda on the phone and had lunch with Joey.


The results support that the intervention group had greater gains than the control group for recall of names (i.e., number of names), events (e.g., shopping, curling), and details (i.e., more words in the details) from their post-intervention memory recall test in comparison to their pre-intervention memory recall test. The participants’ feedback questionnaires reported positive ratings for questions regarding the ease of the study, and the utility to assist with memory.