Research Reports - Impact of traumatic brain injury on social cognition in adolescents and contribution of other higher order cognitive functions

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2016 Mar 10:1-19. [Epub ahead of print]

Tousignant B(1,)(2), Jackson PL(1,)(2,)(3), Massicotte E(1,)(2), Beauchamp
MH(4,)(5), Achim AM(3), Vera-Estay E(4), Bedell G(6), Sirois K(1,)(2).

Social cognition impairments can contribute to social participation difficulties
following traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, little attention has been given
to these impairments during adolescence, a period of life when peer relationships
are central. The aim of the current study was to examine the impact of a moderate
to severe TBI sustained in adolescence on multiple facets of social cognition.
Twenty-three adolescents who had sustained a moderate-to-severe TBI were compared
with a group of 23 typically developing peers. The Integrated Social Cognition
Battery (mentalising, social knowledge, emotion recognition) and the
Interpersonal Reactivity Index were administered, along with non-social cognition
tests (selective attention, working memory, executive functions), IQ estimation,
and a socio-demographic questionnaire. Adolescents with TBI reported having a
significantly lower ability to take other people's perspectives versus controls.
They also presented significantly lower levels of mentalising. After controlling
for non-social higher-order cognitive variables, the group effect on mentalising
remained marginally significant, whereas the effect on perspective taking
remained significant. Our findings suggest the presence of primary deficits in
social cognition following TBI in adolescence. These deficits could partially
underlie the social reintegration difficulties encountered following TBI. A
systematic assessment of social cognition in clinical practice is necessary.
 

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