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Cogn Process. 2015 Feb;16(1):69-78. doi: 10.1007/s10339-014-0625-1. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Assistive technology-based programs to promote communication and leisure activities by three children emerged from a minimal conscious state.

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Lega del Filo d'Oro Research Center, Molfetta, Italy,


This study proposed the use of assistive technology (AT) to promote communication and leisure opportunities by three children with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Furthermore, it assessed the effects of such technology on the indices of positive participation and provided a social validation procedure. Three children emerged from a minimal conscious state and presenting extensive motor disabilities were involved. The intervention program allowed the participants to request and to choice preferred items independently and to perform literacy through a keyboard emulator. A multiple probe design across behaviors with post-intervention check was employed. Outcome measures were correct requests, understandable words, intervals with positive participation, and scores of social validation assessment. Request and choice behaviors and literacy improved significantly during intervention phases. During post-intervention check, all participants consolidated their performance. Moreover, indices of positive participation increased during intervention phases. Scores of social validation assessment showed that the combination of both behaviors was preferable to the same considered separately. AT program showed to be suitable for promoting constructive engagement and literacy behaviors by children with TBI. Future research is needed to generalize this data to a larger sample and to develop new technology for people with different levels of disabilities due to TBI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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