Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011 Apr;92(4):519-30. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.11.015.

Evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation: updated review of the literature from 2003 through 2008.

Author information

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, JFK-Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, Edison, NJ 08820, USA.



To update our clinical recommendations for cognitive rehabilitation of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke, based on a systematic review of the literature from 2003 through 2008.


PubMed and Infotrieve literature searches were conducted using the terms attention, awareness, cognitive, communication, executive, language, memory, perception, problem solving, and/or reasoning combined with each of the following terms: rehabilitation, remediation, and training for articles published between 2003 and 2008. The task force initially identified citations for 198 published articles.


One hundred forty-one articles were selected for inclusion after our initial screening. Twenty-nine studies were excluded after further detailed review. Excluded articles included 4 descriptive studies without data, 6 nontreatment studies, 7 experimental manipulations, 6 reviews, 1 single case study not related to TBI or stroke, 2 articles where the intervention was provided to caretakers, 1 article redacted by the journal, and 2 reanalyses of prior publications. We fully reviewed and evaluated 112 studies.


Articles were assigned to 1 of 6 categories reflecting the primary area of intervention: attention; vision and visuospatial functioning; language and communication skills; memory; executive functioning, problem solving and awareness; and comprehensive-holistic cognitive rehabilitation. Articles were abstracted and levels of evidence determined using specific criteria.


Of the 112 studies, 14 were rated as class I, 5 as class Ia, 11 as class II, and 82 as class III. Evidence within each area of intervention was synthesized and recommendations for Practice Standards, Practice Guidelines, and Practice Options were made.


There is substantial evidence to support interventions for attention, memory, social communication skills, executive function, and for comprehensive-holistic neuropsychologic rehabilitation after TBI. Evidence supports visuospatial rehabilitation after right hemisphere stroke, and interventions for aphasia and apraxia after left hemisphere stroke. Together with our prior reviews, we have evaluated a total of 370 interventions, including 65 class I or Ia studies. There is now sufficient information to support evidence-based protocols and implement empirically-supported treatments for cognitive disability after TBI and stroke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center