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Res Dev Disabil. 2012 Nov-Dec;33(6):1964-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2012.05.027. Epub 2012 Jun 26.

Promoting adaptive behavior in persons with acquired brain injury, extensive motor and communication disabilities, and consciousness disorders.

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Department of Neuroscience and Sense Organs, University of Bari, Italy.


These two studies extended the evidence on the use of technology-based intervention packages to promote adaptive behavior in persons with acquired brain injury and multiple disabilities. Study I involved five participants in a minimally conscious state who were provided with intervention packages based on specific arrangements of optic, tilt, or pressure microswitches (linked to preferred environmental stimuli) and eyelid, toe and finger responses. Study II involved three participants who were emerging from a minimally conscious state and were provided with intervention packages based on computer presentations of stimulus options (i.e., preferred stimuli, functional caregiver's procedures, and non-preferred stimuli) and pressure microswitches to choose among them. Intervention data of Study I showed that the participants acquired relatively high levels of microswitch responding (thus engaging widely with preferred environmental stimuli) and kept that responding consistent except for one case. Intervention data of Study II showed that the participants were active in choosing among preferred stimuli and positive caregivers' procedures, but generally abstained from non-preferred stimuli. The results were discussed in terms of the successful use of fairly new/infrequent microswitch-response arrangements (Study I) and the profitable inclusion of functional caregiver's procedures among the options available to choice (Study II).

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