Verhelst, H., Vander Linden, C., Vingerhoets, G. & Caeyenberghs, K. (2017). How to train an injured brain? A pilot feasibility study of home-based computerized cognitive training. Games for Health Journal,6(1), 28-38. United States of America: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1089/g4h.2016.0043
Objective: Computerized cognitive training programs have previously shown to be effective in improving cognitive abilities in patients suffering from traumatic brain injury ( TBI ). These studies often focused on a single cognitive function or required expensive hardware, making it difficult to be used in a home-based environment. This pilot feasibility study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of a newly developed, home-based, computerized cognitive training program for adolescents who suffered from TBI. Additionally, feasibility of study design, procedures, and measurements were examined. Design: Case series, longitudinal, pilot, feasibility intervention study with one baseline and two follow-up assessments. Materials and Methods: Nine feasibility outcome measures and criteria for success were defined, including accessibility, training motivation/user experience, technical smoothness, training compliance, participation willingness, participation rates, loss to follow-up, assessment timescale, and assessment procedures. Five adolescent patients ( four boys, mean age = 16 years 7 months, standard deviation = 9 months ) with moderate to severe TBI in the chronic stage were recruited and received 8 weeks of cognitive training with BrainGames. Effect sizes ( Cohen's d ) were calculated to determine possible training-related effects. Results: The new cognitive training intervention, BrainGames, and study design and procedures proved to be feasible; all nine feasibility outcome criteria were met during this pilot feasibility study. Estimates of effect sizes showed small to very large effects on cognitive measures and questionnaires, which were retained after 6 months. Conclusion: Our pilot study shows that a longitudinal intervention study comprising our novel, computerized cognitive training program and two follow-up assessments is feasible in adolescents suffering from TBI in the chronic stage. Future studies with larger sample sizes will evaluate training-related effects on cognitive functions and underlying brain structures.
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