A randomized control trial to evaluate a paging system for people with traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2005 Oct;19(11):891-4. doi: 10.1080/02699050400002363.


Although memory problems following acquired brain damage are common, some people are able to compensate for these problems through external aids. It was recently demonstrated that a paging system could reduce the everyday memory and planning problems for people with non-progressive brain injury. The 143 patients who participated in the study comprised several diagnostic groups. This paper reports on the sub-group of people with TBI (n=63). This sub-group was part of the larger sample of 143 already published in the 2001 study. A randomized control cross-over design randomly allocated people to group A (pager first) or group B (waiting list first). Each participant chose their own tasks for which they needed reminders. During a 2 week baseline, successful task achievement was documented. Group A achieved 47.14% of tasks and group B 47.88%. People in group A then received a pager for 7 weeks. During the last 2 weeks of this 7 week period, task achievement was documented again. Group A now achieved 71.80% of tasks and group B (on the waiting list) achieved 49.05% (no different from baseline). Group A then returned their pagers and group B received pagers. During the last 2 weeks of this stage participants were monitored once more. At this point, people in group A had dropped back slightly but were still statistically significantly better than during the baseline (67.23%). Group B, meanwhile, were now achieving 73.62% of tasks. This was statistically significantly better than baseline and significantly better than group A, now in the post-pager phase. It is concluded that this paging system significantly reduces the everyday memory and planning problems of people with TBI.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / psychology*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / etiology*
  • Memory Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Reminder Systems*
  • Self-Help Devices*