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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Abstract

Objective:

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

Participants:

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

Interventions:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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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