Use It or Lose It? A 5-Year Follow-up Study of Goal Management Training in Patients with Acquired Brain Injury

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2019 Nov;25(10):1082-1087. doi: 10.1017/S1355617719000626. Epub 2019 Jun 24.


Objectives: To determine the perceived 5-year outcome of Goal Management Training (GMT) for individuals with chronic acquired brain injury and executive dysfunction, when compared to a nonspecific psychoeducational intervention (Brain Health Workshop, BHW).

Methods: Of the 67 subjects in the initial randomized controlled trial [Tornås et al. (2016). Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 1-17], 50 (GMT, n = 21; BHW, n = 29) subjects returned written consent and questionnaires (54% male, age 45.8 ± 10.9 years). The 5-year follow-up consisted of two questionnaires, including the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function for daily life executive function (EF) and Quality of Life after Brain Injury to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Changes related to daily life EF and HRQoL were assessed pre-treatment, post-treatment, 6-month follow-up, and 5-year follow-up. Data were analyzed using a 2 × 4 mixed-design ANOVA.

Results: The findings indicate that GMT is efficacious in improving EF and HRQoL 6-month post-treatment. However, these changes failed to remain significant at 5-year follow-up.

Conclusions: Data from 50 participants receiving either GMT or BHW suggested that the significant GMT-related improvements on perceived EF and HRQoL observed at 6-month follow-up were no longer present at 5-year follow-up. These findings indicate a need to promote maintenance of interventions post-treatment.

Keywords: Brain injury; Cognitive rehabilitation; Executive functioning; Follow-up; Goal management; Randomized controlled trial.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / rehabilitation*
  • Cognitive Remediation*
  • Executive Function*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Quality of Life*