#NPsychPick of the Month: Use of smartphones and tablets after acquired brain injury to support cognition. Disabil. Rehabil.: Assist. Technol. April 2023

NPsych Pick of the Month: April 2023

Use of smartphones and tablets after acquired brain injury to support cognition

Journal: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 2023


To describe the use of mobile devices after acquired brain injury (ABI), from the perspectives of injured individuals and significant others, and to examine factors associated with mobile device use for cognition.


Cross-sectional study with 50 adults with moderate/severe traumatic brain injury or stroke (42% women; mean of 50.7 years old, 4.6 years post-ABI), and 24 significant others. Participants completed questionnaires on mobile technology, cognitive functioning and the impact of technology.


Of 45/50 adults with ABI who owned a smartphone/tablet, 31% reported difficulties in using their device post-injury, 44% had received support, and 46% were interested in further training. Significant others reported motor/visual impairments and the fear of becoming dependent on technology as barriers for mobile device use, and 65% mentioned that their injured relative needed additional support. Mobile device use for cognition was common (64%), predicted in a regression model by lower subjective memory and more positive perception of the psychosocial impacts of technology, and also associated in univariate analyses with younger age, lower executive functioning, and greater use of memory strategies.


Using mobile devices for cognition is common post-ABI but remains challenging for a significant proportion. Developing training approaches may help supporting technology use.


  • Using mobile electronic devices (smartphones and tablets) is common after acquired brain injury (ABI) but is challenging for a significant proportion of individuals.

  • After the ABI, close to 50% of individuals receive support in using their mobile device, mostly from family members and friends, but rarely from rehabilitation clinicians or technology specialists.

  • In a sample of 50 adults with ABI, more frequent use of mobile devices to support cognition was associated with poorer subjective memory and executive functioning, greater use of memory strategies, more positive perception of the psychosocial impacts of technology, and younger age.

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#NPsychTeamResearch: The impact of Covid-19 and lockdown on the lives of people with TBI. Campbell & Parrett. The Neuropsychologist 11, 2021 via NPsych

NPsych Pick of the Month, April 2021: The impact of Covid-19 and lockdown on the lives of people with traumatic brain injury: Do we need an increased focus on the assessment and enhancement of resilience? Campbell and Parrett. NPsych. The Neuropsychologist, 11, 2021.

Helmet use in preventing acute concussive symptoms in recreational vehicle related head trauma. Brain Injury, 2019

Helmet use in preventing acute concussive symptoms in recreational vehicle related head trauma

Marco Daverio, Franz E Babl, Ruth Barker, Dario Gregori, Liviana Da Dalt & Silvia Bressan

Pages 335-341, Brain Injury. Published online: 22 Jan 2018


Objectives: Helmets use has proved effective in reducing head trauma (HT) severity in children riding non-motorised recreational vehicles. Scant data are available on their role in reducing concussive symptoms in children with HT while riding non-motorised recreational vehicles such as bicycles, push scooters and skateboards (BSS). We aimed to investigate whether helmet use is associated with a reduction in acute concussive symptoms in children with BSS-related-HT.

Methods: Prospective study of children <18 years who presented with a BSS related-HT between April 2011 and January 2014 at a tertiary Paediatric Emergency Department (ED).

Results: We included 190 patients. Median age 9.4 years (IQR 4.8–13.8). 66% were riding a bicycle, 23% a push scooter, and 11% a skateboard. 62% were wearing a helmet and 62% had at least one concussive symptom. Multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusting for age, gender, and type of vehicle showed that patients without a helmet presented more likely with headache (adjusted odds-ratio (aOR) 2.54, 95% CI 1.27–5.06), vomiting (aOR 2.16, 95% CI 1.00–4.66), abnormal behaviour (aOR 2.34, 95% CI 1.08–5.06), or the presence of at least one concussive symptom (aOR 2.39, 95% CI 1.20–4.80).

Conclusions: In children presenting to the ED following a wheeled BSS-related HT helmet use was associated with less acute concussive symptoms.

ABBREVIATIONS: aOR, adjusted odds ratio; APHIRST, Australasian Paediatric Head Injury Rules Study; BSS, bicycles, push scooters and skateboards; CI, confidence interval; CT, computed tomography; ED, emergency department; HT, head trauma; IQR, interquartile range; OR, odds ratio; RCH, Royal Children’s Hospital; RV, recreational vehicle.


Traumatic Brain Injury and the Risk for Subsequent Crime Perpetration. Bonow, Wang, et al. J Head Trauma Rehabil 2019

Traumatic Brain Injury and the Risk for Subsequent Crime Perpetration

Bonow, Robert H; Wang, Jin, et al. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: January/February 2019 – Volume 34 – Issue 1 – p E61–E69




To examine whether patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at higher risk for subsequent crime perpetration compared with injured patients without TBI and those hospitalized for reasons other than injury.

Setting and Participants:

Patients hospitalized in Washington State from 2006-2007.


A retrospective cohort study using linked statewide datasets.

Main measures:

Primary outcomes were arrest for any violent or nonviolent crime within 5 years of discharge. Adjusted subhazard ratios were calculated using regression models incorporating death as a competing risk.


Compared with uninjured patients (n = 158 247), the adjusted rate of arrest for any crime was greater among injured patients with TBI (n = 6894; subdistribution hazard ratios [sHR], 1.57; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.49-1.62) and without TBI (n = 40 035; sHR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.49-1.62). When patients with TBI were directly compared with injured patients without TBI, no effect of TBI on subsequent arrests was found (sHR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.94-1.11). TBI did not increase the likelihood of either violent or nonviolent crime when these outcomes were examined separately.


TBI survivors do not appear to be at increased risk for criminality compared with injured individuals without TBI. However, injured persons with or without TBI may be at elevated risk of crime perpetration compared with those who are uninjured.