#NPsychTeamResearch – Impact of Covid-19 lockdown for people with brain injury in the UK. Carlacci De Mattia, Campbell, Parrett. The Neuropsychologist April 2023 via NPsych

The Neuropsychologist 15: 40-51

Impact of Covid-19 lockdown on the mood, behaviour, and social activities of people with brain injury in the UK: Results of a survey of brain injury professionals’ reports




The Covid-19 related lockdown of March–June 2020 in the United Kingdom (UK) may have negatively affected mood and behaviour of people with brain injuries. Conversely, there may have been beneficial effects due to reduced demand on cognition and emotional regulation. In this online survey study, care coordinators (n=19) assessed the consequences of lockdown on 130 individuals with ABI (range 3–29 clients per care co-ordinator; 10–65years+; and mostly living in residential care). The majority of reports were of no change to mood, behaviour, or social functioning (105 ratings). However, respondents reported that 88 (68 per cent) clients presented with changes: 63 clients (48 per cent) had lower mood, higher distress, and agitation, and were less engaged in usual activities; while 25 clients (19 per cent) were reported to have improved. Moreover, 13/19 (68 per cent) of respondents reported increased vulnerabilities in their clients, and 5/19 (26 per cent) reported online exploitation, controlling behaviour from partner and financial scams. These data present a mixed picture of how the first national lockdown affected people with ABI.

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Efficacy of Postacute Neuropsychological Rehabilitation for Patients with Acquired Brain Injuries is Maintained in the Long-Term. J Int Neuropsych Soc, Jan 2020

Postacute NR programs provide participants with various tools, skills, and psychological perspectives that they continue to gain from and generalize to real life after program completion, reflecting transformational processes with stable long-term benefits

Effects of animal-assisted therapy on social behaviour in patients with acquired brain injury: a randomised controlled trial. Scientific Reports, 2019.

Effects of animal-assisted therapy on social behaviour in patients with acquired brain injury: a randomised controlled trial.

Karin Hediger, Stefan Thommen, Cora Wagner, Jens Gaab & Margret Hund-Georgiadis. Nature: Scientific Reports, volume 9, Published: 09 April 2019.

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is increasingly used to address impaired social competence in patients with acquired brain injury. However, the efficacy of AAT has not been tested in these patients. We used a randomised, controlled within subject trial to determine the effects of AAT on social competence in patients undergoing stationary neurorehabilitation. Participants received both AAT sessions and paralleled conventional therapy sessions. The patients’ social behaviour was systematically coded on the basis of video recordings of therapy sessions. Moreover, mood, treatment motivation and satisfaction was measured during each therapy session. We analysed 222 AAT and 219 control sessions of 19 patients with linear mixed models. Patients showed a significantly higher amount of social behaviour during AAT. Furthermore, patients’ positive emotions, verbal and non-verbal communication, mood, treatment motivation and satisfaction were increased in the presence of an animal. Neutral emotions were reduced but no effect was found regarding negative emotions. Our results show that AAT increases aspects of social competence and leads to higher emotional involvement of patients with acquired brain injury, reflected in higher social engagement, motivation and satisfaction during a therapeutic session.