Research Reports - Goal Management Training combined with external cuing as a means to improve emotional regulation, psychological functioning, and quality of life in patients with acquired brain injury

 Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Jul 13. pii: S0003-9993(16)30325-2. doi:
10.1016/j.apmr.2016.06.014. [Epub ahead of print]

Tornås S(1), Psychol C(2), Løvstad M(3), Solbakk AK(4), Schanke AK(3), Stubberud

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether Goal Management Training (GMT) expanded to
include external cuing and an emotional regulation module is associated with
improved emotional regulation, psychological functioning, and quality of life
after chronic acquired brain injury.
DESIGN: A randomized controlled trial with blinded outcome assessment at
baseline, post-training and six-month follow-up.
SETTING: Outpatient PARTICIPANTS: Persons with acquired brain injury and
executive dysfunction (N=70; 64% traumatic brain injury; 52% males; mean age 43 ±
13 years; mean time since injury 8.1 ± 9.4 years).
INTERVENTION: Eight sessions of GMT in groups, including a new module addressing
emotional regulation, and external cuing. A psychoeducative control condition
(Brain Health Workshop) was matched on amount of training, therapist contact and
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Emotional regulation was assessed with the Brain Injury
Trust Regulation of Emotions Questionnaire, the Emotional Control subscale and
the Emotion Regulation factor (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive
Function-Adult), and the Positive and Negative Affect subscales from the
Dysexecutive Questionnaire. Secondary outcome measures included Psychological
Distress (Hopkins Symptom Checklist 25) and Quality of Life (Quality of Life
after Brain Injury scale).
RESULTS: Findings indicated beneficial effects of GMT on emotional regulation
skills in everyday life and in quality of life six months post-treatment. No
intervention effects on measures of psychological distress were registered.
CONCLUSION: Goal Management Training is a promising intervention for improving
emotional regulation following ABI, even in the chronic phase. More research
using objective measures of emotional regulation is needed to investigate the
efficacy of this type of training. 

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