Effectiveness of a Treatment for Impairments in Social Cognition and Emotion Regulation (T-ScEmo) After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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To evaluate the effects of a multifaceted Treatment for Social cognition and Emotion regulation (T-ScEmo) in patients with a traumatic brain injury.


Sixty-one patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury randomly assigned to an experimental T-ScEmo intervention or a Cogniplus control condition.


T-ScEmo is a compensatory strategy training for impairments in emotion recognition, theory of mind, and social behavioral skills. Cogniplus is a computerized cognitive function training. Both interventions were given in 16 to 20 weekly 1-hour sessions.

Main Measures:

Social cognition tests and questionnaires for social behavior (self- and proxy-rated) administered at baseline, immediately posttreatment, and at 3 to 5 months of follow-up.


Compared with the Cogniplus group, the T-ScEmo group improved significantly on facial affect recognition, theory of mind, proxy-rated empathic behavior, societal participation, and treatment goal attainment, which lasted up to 5 months after treatment. At follow-up, the T-ScEmo group also reported higher quality of life and their life partners rated relationship quality to be higher than the Cogniplus group.


This study shows that impairments in social cognition can be effectively dealt with by using a comprehensive treatment protocol, leading to improvements in everyday life social functioning.

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