Effective use of Google Calendar to increase daily function in TBI population

Mrs Susan Petrie1, Associate Professor  Natasha Lannin2,3, Ms Kate Phillips1, Ms Carla Thompson4

1Independent Rehabilitation Services, Ashburton, Australia, 2La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, 3Alfred Health, Melbourne, Australia, 4Memory Matters, Melbourne, Australia

 

Aim

To provide evidence that Google Calendar is an effective strategy to reduce the impact of prospective memory impairments in adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Method

Participants for this mixed-methods study were recruited from a community neurorehabilitation service. Post 2-week baseline period, participants received 8-weeks of Google Calendar intervention, provided by specifically trained occupational therapists using the errorless learning technique to help achieve their functional goals.  Goals were identified and rated at baseline and post intervention using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure and the Goal Attainment Scale.  Participants underwent brief neuropsychological testing pre-intervention and completed the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test 3 (RBMT 3) pre and post intervention.

Results

Despite the severity of the study population, the GAS and COPM changes scores were statistically significant for all participants. All 12 participants continued to use Google Calendar after their participation in the study was completed. The intensity and training approach of the occupational therapist was found to be a significant factor in the success of the intervention.

Significance of findings for allied health

This study provides evidence that Google Calendar is an effective strategy within the Victorian TBI population to allow greater independence in functional activities.  This is significant for allied health as opportunities to increase independence in this client group are rare, therefore this opportunity should be maximised, particularly given that Google Calendar is a mainstream tool and free to use.