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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

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Efficacy of Postacute Neuropsychological Rehabilitation for Patients with Acquired Brain Injuries is Maintained in the Long-Term

Tal Shany-Ur, Ayala Bloch, Tali Salomon-Shushan, Narkis Bar-Lev.

Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Volume 26, Special Issue 1 (Rehabilitation) January 2020 , pp. 130-141.

https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617719001024

Abstract

Objectives:We examined the long-term maintenance of treatment outcomes in patients with acquired brain injuries who participated in community-based neuropsychological rehabilitation (NR) programs, in a prospective, within-subject, longitudinal, partial double-blind cohort study.

Methods:One hundred forty-three patients (39 females, mean age 33.5 years) who had experienced a brain injury (BI) (mean time since injury 3.95 years) were referred to a postacute community-based NR institute. Patients participated in one of the three programs aimed at improving their functional outcome: comprehensive–holistic neuropsychological rehabilitation, vocational-focused neuropsychological rehabilitation, and individual neuropsychological rehabilitation. Self-reported data regarding employment, community integration, perceived quality of life (PQoL), and mood were collected at program start and end, and annually for 3 years post program completion. Group placement was based on clinical considerations, such that the study did not aim to compare the programs, but rather to assess their long-term benefits.

Results:Employment status and stability, community integration, and PQoL improved significantly after program completion and continued to improve for the following 3 years. The proportion of individuals with mood disturbances did not change during or after the programs.

Conclusions:A clear consensus regarding BI rehabilitation is that long-term maintenance of treatment outcomes is imperative to its efficacy. Our findings suggest that 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.