- A description of a cognitive rehabilitation programme evaluated in brain tumour patients with mild to moderate cognitive deficits
- Clinical rehabilitation
- Volume | Issue number
- 25 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
This series of articles for rehabilitation in practice aims to cover a knowledge element of the rehabilitation medicine curriculum. Nevertheless they are intended to be of interest to a multidisciplinary audience. The competency addressed in this article is cognitive rehabilitation.Background: There is a paucity of literature on the rationale, design, and content of successful cognitive rehabilitation programmes. In the current paper, we describe in detail a cognitive rehabilitation programme that has previously proven effective in a randomized controlled trial in patients with primary brain tumours. The programme’s content may be of practical interest to those working with populations of cognitively impaired patients.Programme: The programme consists of six weekly, individual, 2-hour sessions plus homework, and incorporates both strategy training and attention retraining. The elements were taken from two of the few programmes that are evidence-based. It's design consists of psycho-education, teaching of strategies to compensate for problems in attention, memory and executive functioning in daily life. The retraining was based on the assumption that a target process can be improved by frequently practising exercises. It is focused on attention as intact attention may also be necessary for adequate functioning of other cognitive domains. The hierarchically organized exercises, embedded in a game-like computer program, were tailored to the needs of the individual patient.Evaluation: Mean total training time was estimated to be 35 hours in seven weeks. Adherence to the programme was high. The majority of the participants found the programme to be (very) useful. However, older participants found the programme more burdensome than younger patients.Discussion: Splitting up and spreading out sessions may increase the feasibility and usefulness of the programme for older participants. Further suggestions for improvements and future studies on this programme are also provided.
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