The effectiveness of computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation in brain-damaged patients
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This study examined the effects of computer-assisted cognitive rehabilitation in a group of 16 brain-damaged patients. Therapeutic effectiveness was assessed by improvement on computer tasks, the results of neuropsychological tests and quality of life ratings. Participants suffered from mild to moderate attention and memory problems or aphasia. The procedure involved baseline assessment (pretest), a 15-week course of therapy conducted twice a week (30 hours in total) and posttest. Neuropsychological tests assessing attention, memory and language problems and quality of life ratings were administered twice: in pre- and posttests. Twelve healthy controls were also examined twice (with a 15-week interval) using the same battery of neuropsychological tests. The RehaCom program and the Polish computer therapy program for aphasics called Afa-System were used for rehabilitation. The computer-assisted rehabilitation tasks were selected individually for each patient. The results showed signifi cant improvement on computer-assisted tasks in all braindamaged subjects. However, none or very little improvement was observed on neuropsychological tests and quality of life ratings. The results of the study confi rm the importance of using different types of measures to estimate the effectiveness of computer-assisted neuropsychological rehabilitation as well as the necessity of applying various kinds of therapy to improve cognitive, emotional and social functioning in brain-damaged patients.
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