Issues with aspects of memory, concentration and so-called executive function are common consequences of brain injury. For many years in Germany, neuropsychologists and therapists have used carefully designed software such as RehaCom to assist in retraining cognitive function. Software such as this is not intended as a substitute for a therapist but rather a tool to be used alongside a number of other approaches and strategies.
For many years the strongest research support was for compensation approaches such as memory aids but research support for resititution (retraining) approaches has been growing. A recent article in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation reported on the authors' conduct of a systematic literature review of computerised treatment for attention and executive function in adults who suffered a brain injury.
Studies published before or during April 2015 were evaluated for quality and methodolog. They noted that eight of 11 studies reported significant gains in cognitive function following treatment in TBI patients, with three remaining studies reporting trends toward significance. Similarly, 10 of 12 mixed population studies observed significant improvements on measures of attention and executive function, with the remaining two studies reporting positive trends. Five studies reported significant improvements subsequent to treatment for stroke patients.
The results of this systematic review provide encouraging evidence that computerised cognitive rehabilitation can improve attention and executive functioning in brain injury survivors.
The authors point to some further advantages of computer-based training such as reduced waiting time and cost of treatment. In addition, these techniques lend themselves to providing "care at a distance" as treatment can be conducted anywhere and supervised at a distance. The principal investigator points to the need for further studies to provide specific guidelines of computerised methods. For example, to identify optimal training durations and intensities.
We are proud to be working with RehaCom which has the breadth of content and depth of quality to justify it's place as Europe's leading software to support cognitive rehabilitation.
Yelena Bogdanova, Megan K. Yee, Vivian T. Ho, Keith D. Cicerone.
Computerized Cognitive Rehabilitation of Attention and Executive Function in Acquired Brain Injury.
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 2015; 1