Research Reports - Effectiveness of a treatment for impairments in social cognition and emotion regulation after traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2017 Sep/Oct;32(5):296-307. doi:
10.1097/HTR.0000000000000332.

Westerhof-Evers HJ(1), Visser-Keizer AC, Fasotti L, Schönherr MC, Vink M, van der
Naalt J, Spikman JM.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of a multifaceted Treatment for Social
cognition and Emotion regulation (T-ScEmo) in patients with a traumatic brain
injury.
PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-one patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury
randomly assigned to an experimental T-ScEmo intervention or a Cogniplus control
condition.
INTERVENTIONS: T-ScEmo is a compensatory strategy training for impairments in
emotion recognition, theory of mind, and social behavioral skills. Cogniplus is a
computerized cognitive function training. Both interventions were given in 16 to
20 weekly 1-hour sessions.
MAIN MEASURES: Social cognition tests and questionnaires for social behavior
(self- and proxy-rated) administered at baseline, immediately posttreatment, and
at 3 to 5 months of follow-up.
RESULTS: Compared with the Cogniplus group, the T-ScEmo group improved
significantly on facial affect recognition, theory of mind, proxy-rated empathic
behavior, societal participation, and treatment goal attainment, which lasted up
to 5 months after treatment. At follow-up, the T-ScEmo group also reported higher
quality of life and their life partners rated relationship quality to be higher
than the Cogniplus group.
CONCLUSION: This study shows that impairments in social cognition can be
effectively dealt with by using a comprehensive treatment protocol, leading to
improvements in everyday life social functioning. 

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