Update on the Efficacy of Cognitive Rehabilitation After Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Scoping Review

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2023 Feb;104(2):315-330. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.07.007. Epub 2022 Jul 31.


Objectives: To identify, categorize, and analyze the methodological issues of cognitive rehabilitation of patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury and its efficacy.

Data sources: Pubmed and PsycINFO were searched for studies published between 2015 and 2021 using keywords for cognitive intervention and traumatic brain injury.

Study selection: Two independent reviewers selected articles concerning cognitive rehabilitation for adults with traumatic brain injury. Of 458 studies, 97 full-text articles were assessed and 46 met the inclusion criteria.

Data extraction: Data were analyzed by 1 reviewer according to criteria concerning the methodological quality of studies.

Data synthesis: Results showed a large scope of 7 cognitive domains targeted by interventions, delivered mostly in individual sessions (83%) with an integrative cognitive approach (48%). Neuroimaging tools as a measure of outcome remained scarce, featuring in only 20% of studies. Forty-three studies reported significant effects of cognitive rehabilitation, among which 7 fulfilled a high methodological level of evidence.

Conclusions: Advances and shortcomings in cognitive rehabilitation have both been highlighted and led us to develop methodological key points for future studies. The choice of outcome measures, the selection of control interventions, and the use of combined rehabilitation should be investigated in further studies.

Keywords: Brain injuries; Cognitive Remediation; Rehabilitation; Review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic* / rehabilitation
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Cognitive Training
  • Humans
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care