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Long-Term Academic Functioning following Cogmed Working Memory Training for Children Born Extremely Preterm: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Peter J. Anderson, Katherine J. Lee, Gehan Roberts, Megan M. Spencer-smith, Deanne K. Thompson, Marc L. Seal, Chiara Nosarti, Andrea Grehan, Elisha K. Josev, Susan Gathercole, Lex W. Doyle, Leona Pascoe

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Early online date31 Aug 2018
Accepted/In press2 Jul 2018
E-pub ahead of print31 Aug 2018


King's Authors


To assess the effectiveness of Cogmed Working Memory Training compared with a placebo program in improving academic functioning 24 months post-training in extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight 7-year-olds.

Study design
A multicenter double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized controlled trial was conducted across all tertiary neonatal hospitals in the state of Victoria, Australia. Participants were 91 extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight 7-year-old children born in Victoria in 2005. Children were randomly assigned to either the Cogmed or placebo arm and completed the Cogmed or placebo program (20-25 sessions of 35-40 minutes duration) at home over 5-7 weeks. Academic achievement (word reading, spelling, sentence comprehension, and mathematics) was assessed 24 months post-training, as well as at 2 weeks and 12 months post-training, via standardized testing inclusive of working memory, attention, and executive behavior assessments. Data were analyzed using an intention-to-treat approach with mixed-effects modeling.

There was little evidence of any benefits of Cogmed on academic functioning 24 months post-training, as well as on working memory, attention, or executive behavior at any age up to 24 months post-training compared with the placebo program.

We currently do not recommend administration of Cogmed for early school-aged children born extremely preterm/extremely low birth weight to improve academic functioning.

Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12612000124831.

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