Abstract

Objective: The goal of this study is to evaluate the effects of a neurocognitive rehabilitation intervention compared to a supportive therapy condition in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). Method: Individuals with a diagnosis of PD with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) were randomly assigned to receive 8 weeks of a memory and problem solving intervention (n = 8) or supportive therapy (n = 8). Outcomes were assessed at baseline, immediate post, and 6 month follow-up. Results: Significant improvements in learning and memory were noted from baseline to post evaluation, but somewhat contrary to expectation, these changes were found within both conditions, CVLT 1–5 Learning, F(2, 28) = 3.99, p = .030, CVLT Long Delay Free Recall, F(2, 28) = 3.99, p = .030. Participants also evidenced significant improvement in everyday cognitive functioning, F(1, 14) = 4.70, p = .048 and on self-reported stigma associated with PD (PDQ-39 Stigma subscale), F(2, 28) = 5.20, p = .012. Depression symptoms (BDI-II) decreased more for individuals who received the neurocognitive intervention than those who received supportive therapy, particularly from the immediate post evaluation to the 6 month follow up, F(1, 13) = 10.27, p = .007. Conclusion(s): Both neurocognitive and supportive therapy interventions led to improvements on select outcomes. Greater improvement on depression in the neurocognitive intervention may be attributable to the more active problem solving approach taken in this condition compared to supportive therapy. Ongoing data collection will allow for increased statistical power to detect changes; however, initial findings are promising for the use of brief, psychosocial interventions in individuals with PD and MCI.