OccupationalTherapy.com Phone: 866-782-9924

Improving Memory Using the Spaced Retrieval Technique for Occupational Therapists

Improving Memory Using the Spaced Retrieval Technique for Occupational Therapists
Megan L. Malone, MA, CCC-SLP, Jennifer Loehr, M.A., CCC-SLP
August 30, 2013

This text based course is a transcript of the live webinar titled, "Improving Memory Using the Spaced Retrieval Technique for Occupational Therapists" presented by Megan L. Malone, M.A., CCC-SLP. 

>> Megan Malone: Mainly what I am going to be sharing with you today is the use of this technique with the older population, specifically with the dementia population, but as we are going to find out, spaced-retrieval has been successfully used with many different populations with a number different diagnoses.  Even though some of the case studies are more bent toward the adult population with dementia, please do not let that deter you from using it with other populations that you maybe treating.

As we get started here, I do have to make a few acknowledgments to the many people who participated in the research related to spaced-retrieval.  Previous to my work at Kent State, I worked for Myers Research Institute in Cleveland, Ohio, and as an affiliate of Menorah Park Center for Senior Living. That was really where a lot of these grants got moving forward with spaced-retrieval.  Dr. Cameron Camp, who was our director, is really a pioneer in this area, and I definitely want to give acknowledgement to him and to our entire research staff.  We also did a number of grants related to different state organizations, in particular, the state of New York.  We worked with their Department on Aging on using spaced-retrieval within long-term care settings and how to roll the program out through a facility setting, which we know is very difficult to do.  It is one thing to learn a technique and do it yourself in your practice, but to get other people to catch on and embrace it is another.  We did a great grant that really looked at how to implement a program into a facility setting.  I would like to thank them, and that includes my friends Ellen and Kelli, who work for some of the facilities in New York.  Hearthstone Alzheimer's Care in Massachusetts does wonderful work with older adults and has continued to carry on some of the work that Myers Research Institute did.  I would like to acknowledge them, as well as, Northern Speech Services, the National Institute on Aging, and the Retirement Research Foundation.  A big thank you to all those people.


Our main objectives for today is to really define what the spaced-retrieval technique is, and then we are going to talk about how it works.  The way that it works is really based on a model of memory that supports learning in persons with cognitive deficits.  We are going to do a little bit of foundation work on understanding memory, so then you can better understand why this technique is successful.  Finally we are going to talk about developing appropriate goals incorporating SR into some case study examples. 

Assumptions About Dementia

Let's get started by talking about some common assumptions about dementia.  Luckily this is changing a little bit, but unfortunately there is a large number of people who are working in healthcare who really do believe that persons with dementia cannot learn or remember any new information, and that the best way to take care of these people is to just make them comfortable, accept their idiosyncrasies, and be patient with them.  Really what we are trying to do is change that viewpoint.  Persons with dementia can indeed learn quite well if we capitalize on their remaining abilities. 


megan l malone

Megan L. Malone, MA, CCC-SLP

Megan Malone is a speech-language pathologist working as a clinical faculty member at Kent State University's Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology and as a clinician and consultant in home health care. She previously worked for 9 years as a senior research associate and lead trainer at Myers Research Institute, in Cleveland, OH where she oversaw federally/privately funded grants focused on implementing interventions with older adults with dementia. She is the co-author of the book, Here's How to Treat Dementia (Plural Publishing, 2013), has spoken numerous times at the annual conventions of the American Speech and Hearing Association, Gerontological Society of America, American Society on Aging, and the Alzheimer's Association, along with several state speech and hearing conventions. She has published articles in the Journal of Communication Disorders, Alzheimer's Care Quarterly, The Gerontologist, and Dementia.

jennifer loehr

Jennifer Loehr, M.A., CCC-SLP


Jenny Loehr is a speech-language pathologist employed as the Director of Rehabilitation for Healthpro Rehab in Austin, TX. Her focus of practice in the past fifteen years has been adult/geriatric neurology with an emphasis on dementia programming.  She currently oversees and implements rehabilitation programming at a large senior living campus that provides rehabilitation services to adults living independently, in assisted living, long term care, skilled nursing and memory support. Ms. Loehr has presented on numerous occasions locally and nationally including the American Speech and Hearing conventions and the National Association of Home Care and Hospice conference.  In addition, she has authored and co-authored a number of articles on the topic of speech language pathology services for the dementia population.

Related Courses

The Spaced Retrieval Technique: A How To For OTs
Presented by Megan L. Malone, MA, CCC-SLP
Course: #4695Level: Introductory1 Hour
This course will provide an overview of the spaced retrieval technique, which is a cognitive intervention that can improve recall of functional information. Participants will learn the evidence behind this technique as well as how to implement it in therapy sessions.

Electrical Stimulation for Recovery of Function in Neurorehabilitation
Presented by Rebecca Martin, OTR/L, OTD, CPAM, CKTP
Course: #3840Level: Intermediate1 Hour
This course will describe the different mechanisms of action for electrical stimulation to restore function in patients with neurological dysfunction. Using case studies and best evidence, participants will learn how to design and execute interventions with electrical stimulation useful in neurorehabiliation.

Joint Hypermobility Syndromes: Assessment and Intervention
Presented by Valeri Calhoun, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Course: #5376Level: Intermediate1 Hour
This course will cover upper extremity assessment and treatment strategies for the pediatric/young adult population affected by joint hypermobility syndromes. The treatment focuses on both orthopedic strategies along with adaptive methods for these individuals.

Disability Inclusion: What Healthcare Providers Need To Know
Presented by Kathryn Sorensen, OTD, OTR/L, ADAC
Course: #5632Level: Introductory1 Hour
As a person with a disability and an occupational therapist, I have a unique perspective of living in two worlds. In this course, I will share my personal experience and things I wish healthcare providers knew and understood about living with a disability.

Recommendations For Preventing And Managing Mechanical Low Back Pain With Occupational Therapy Clients
Presented by Lisa Juckett, MOT, OTR/L
Course: #3585Level: Introductory1 Hour
This course will review neuromusculoskeletal anatomy of the spinal column with a specific emphasis on the lumbar spine region. Screening, evaluation, and intervention techniques for managing low back pain will be provided as will recommendations for activity modification and injury prevention.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.