This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Can a memory club help maintain cognitive function? A pilot investigation


Fritsch, Thomas, McClendon, McKee J., Wallendal, Maggie S., Smyth, Kathleen A., Geldmacher, David S., Hyde, Trevor F., Leo, Gary J.


Activities, Adaptation & Aging, Volume: 38, No.: 1, Pages.: 29-52

Year of Publication



In a pilot investigation we evaluated the impact of a structured early memory loss (EML) program intervention in a longitudinal (repeated measures) study of 55 persons with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia. At four test sites we examined whether participation in the club—which sought to stimulate mental activity and social interaction, provide opportunities for light exercise, and teach memory strategies—would be associated with changes in cognitive function during 1 year. Controlling for relevant covariates, we found that club participation was associated with improvements in two of three executive function measures and maintenance of function in two of three memory measures. We observed decline, over time, on a measure of delayed recall. There were interactions between change and test site, indicating that some effects were related to where clubs were located. This pilot study suggests that EML clubs may be an efficacious, nonpharmacologic intervention for people with early memory loss. However, further research (especially randomized control trials) is needed before recommending widespread implementation of this program. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Bibtex Citation

@article{Fritsch_2014, doi = {10.1080/01924788.2014.878873}, url = {}, year = 2014, month = {jan}, publisher = {Informa {UK} Limited}, volume = {38}, number = {1}, pages = {29--52}, author = {Thomas Fritsch and McKee J. McClendon and Maggie S. Wallendal and Kathleen A. Smyth and David S. Geldmacher and Trevor F. Hyde and Gary J. Leo}, title = {Can a Memory Club Help Maintain Cognitive Function? A Pilot Investigation}, journal = {Activities, Adaptation {&} Aging} }


club, cognitive function, cognitive impairment, dementia, early memories, executive function, intervention, longitudinal studies, longitudinal study, measurement, memory, memory club, memory decay, memory measures, memory strategies, memory training, mild dementia, repeated measures, social interaction, structured early memory loss program intervention, therapeutic social clubs

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified), Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

Types of Study

Cohort Study

Type of Outcomes




Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Adult safeguarding and abuse detection/prevention, Exercise (inc. dancing), Other, Social activities (e.g. lunch clubs, cinema outings, trips to sporting events etc, peer support)