Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Michelle Bourgeois, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Howard Goldstein Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Jacqueline Hinckley, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Jessica Brown, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.


cognitive impairment, compensatory strategies, dementia, functional behavior


Individuals with mild neurocognitive disorder complete many activities of daily living independently; however, they may require the use of compensatory strategies while performing everyday tasks. Compensatory strategies, such as external memory aids, incorporate a strengths-based approach to enhance the functional needs of individuals. Although external memory aids have a strong evidence-base, limited assessment tools and interventions are available to facilitate the development of individualized treatment plans that promote sustained strategy use. To better support the everyday needs of individuals with mild neurocognitive disorder and to inform clinicians who are developing interventions, the current dissertation includes four paper that examine a functional framework for external memory aid assessment and intervention. The first paper examined a group intervention teaching three types of external memory aids on functional strategy use, perceived strategy use, and cognitive skills. The second paper identified individual preferences for experiences with external memory aids during and following intervention. The third paper examined individual changes in functional and perceived strategy use following a group-based intervention teaching external memory aids. Lastly, the fourth paper examined the content validity and internal structure of the Functional External Memory Aid Tool: a measure that explores external memory aid use with simulated everyday tasks. By understanding the weaknesses in currently used assessment and intervention practices and the unique preferences of clients, this multi-manuscript dissertation aims to enhance the immediate and long-term needs of individuals with mild neurocognitive disorder.