JOURNAL ARTICLE

Errorless (re)learning of everyday activities in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome: A feasibility study

Yvonne C M Rensen, Jos I M Egger, Josette Westhoff, Serge J W Walvoort, Roy P C Kessels
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 2017 October 2, : 1-15
28967298
Errorless learning has proven to be an effective method for (re)learning tasks in several patient groups with amnesia. However, so far only a handful of studies have examined the effects of errorless learning in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome. The aims of this feasibility study were to (a) examine the effects of errorless learning training on (re)learning tasks in a patient with Korsakoff's syndrome, (b) examine the effects of the nature of the training on the execution of the tasks, and (c) examine characteristics that may mediate learning outcome. Professional caregivers, who were trained in errorless learning principles, taught 51 patients with Korsakoff's syndrome two everyday tasks. Significant improvements in the performance were found after an errorless intervention for different types of trained tasks (activities of daily living, chores, mobility, housekeeping). Moreover, the results of this study suggest that all patients, despite of age, educational level, or level of cognitive functioning, may benefit from errorless learning. The results showed that, despite severe amnesia, patients with Korsakoff's syndrome have the potential to (re)learn everyday skills. Errorless learning might be beneficial for memory rehabilitation in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome in clinical practice. The results of this study are clinically relevant, as successfully learning tasks using errorless learning principles might improve autonomy and independence in the daily lives of patients with Korsakoff's syndrome.

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