A trial of neuropsychologic rehabilitation in mild-spectrum traumatic brain injury

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005 Aug;86(8):1565-74. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2005.03.013.


Objective: To test the effectiveness of a neuropsychologic rehabilitation program consisting of psychotherapy and cognitive remediation in the treatment of the affective and neuropsychologic sequelae of mild-spectrum traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Design: Single-blind randomized, wait-listed controlled trial, with repeated measures and multiple baselines.

Setting: Outpatient clinic in northern New Jersey.

Participants: Twenty persons with persisting complaints after mild and moderate TBI (11 in treatment group, 9 controls).

Interventions: The experimental group received both 50 minutes of individual cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and 50 minutes of individual cognitive remediation, 3 times a week for 11 weeks. The control group was wait-listed and received treatment after conclusion of follow-up.

Main outcome measures: Symptom Check List-90R General Symptom Index, plus scales of depression, anxiety, coping, attention, and neuropsychologic functioning.

Results: Compared with the control group, the treatment group showed significantly improved emotional functioning, including lessened anxiety and depression. Most significant improvements in emotional distress were noted at 1 month and 3 months posttreatment. Performance on a measure of divided auditory attention also improved, but no changes were noted in community integration scores.

Conclusions: Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy and cognitive remediation appear to diminish psychologic distress and improve cognitive functioning among community-living persons with mild and moderate TBI.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waiting Lists