Goal Management Training helps to improve executive function in Alzheimer’s Patients

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When an individual’s executive functions are not working properly, their ability to control their own behaviour decreases.  Executive function is a set of mental skills that help an individual complete everyday activities, such as: managing time, paying attention, and remembering details.   When executive functioning becomes impaired, a person’s abilities to complete everyday activities are negatively affected. 

Goal Management Training® (GMT), based at Baycrest Health Sciences, is a project that has been shown to be effective in the rehabilitation of clients whose executive thinking function has been impeded by a number of conditions, including Alzheimer’s.  Funded by the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI), GMT provides clinicians with a validated, structured program for rehabilitation of executive functions.

CC-ABHI funding is helping to translate the existing in-person GMT therapy to a series of eLearning modules that will be available online.   Currently, GMT is only available as a face-to-face or group therapy.   However, the GMT team is now in the process of recording voiceovers for the online format. 

Benefits of the online version of this project include increased scalability, as well as reduction of delivery time and cost to implement the training.  These benefits will allow GMT to reach older adults not just in Canada, but around the world.  The impact will also allow older adults to remain independent longer, as they can use tools in GMT to help them complete everyday activities that otherwise would not be possible.  Moreover, by offering GMT therapy online, therapists will be better equipped to reach more patients in remote locations, providing support and independence to older adults who have limited or no access to in-person therapy.

The program is being finalized for user-testing by older adults and patients, which is scheduled to take place in 2017.  The first trial will feature the new web-based version and be validated with older adults and stroke patients.  Once user testing is complete, GMT will be commercially available to the public.

By supporting partnerships between academic researchers and practicing clinicians, CC-ABHI is helping to accelerate this project’s pace.

For more information on CC-ABHI projects visit our project page, or email info@ccabhi.com.

For a more robust description of executive functions visit this web page.