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Appl Neuropsychol Adult. 2019 Aug 28:1-13. doi: 10.1080/23279095.2019.1652174. [Epub ahead of print]

Long-Term Effect of Cognitive Rehabilitation Regardless of Prerehabilitation Cognitive Status for Veterans with TBI.

Author information

San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center , San Francisco , CA , USA.
University of California , San Francisco , CA , USA.
Rehabilitation, Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System , Martinez , CA , USA.
University of California , Berkeley: Berkeley , CA.
Children's Health Council , Palo Alto , CA , USA.
Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California Berkeley , Berkeley , CA , USA.


Persisting difficulties in executive functioning (EF) are common after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Cognitive rehabilitation can be effective, but the impact of pretreatment neurocognitive functioning on long term effects of rehabilitation is unknown. Because this information can impact treatment planning, we examined the relationship between prerehabilitation neurocognitive status and long-term effects of EF training. Archival data were drawn from a trial of Goal-Oriented Attentional Self-Regulation group-format EF training for Veterans with TBI [mild-severe; 11 years postinjury; 96% male, 32% nonwhite, 14.21 years education (SD 1.72), 41.13 years old (SD 11.39)]. Using prerehabilitation neurocognitive performance, participants were clustered into cognitive difficulty (CD) and cognitively normal (CN) groups. Six-plus months after EF rehabilitation training, participants completed a structured telephone interview and/or in-person cognitive/functional/emotional assessment using standardized measures of cognitive, daily, and emotional functioning frequently employed in TBI research. At 6+ months post-EF training compared to prerehabilitation, CD and CN improved in multiple cognitive (Overall Attention/EF: F(1,18) = 26.17, partial η2 = .59; Total Memory: F(1,18) = 6.82, partial η2 = .28) and functional domains (Goal Processing Scale [GPS] total score: F(1,15) = 6.71, partial η2 = .31). CD improved more than CN on Learning and Memory functional domain [F(1,15) = 6.10, partial η2 = .29]. Results of our small archival analysis raise the possibility that Veterans with chronic TBI may demonstrate long-term effects of EF training.


Cognitive rehabilitation; Veterans; traumatic brain injury

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