I was recently sent an interesting article reporting on an evidence-based review of the literature from 1998 – 2002 about cognitive rehabilitation for people with traumatic brain injury.

This article is extremely important as it supports the use of cognitive remediation for people with traumatic brain injuries. In the past, insurance carriers and defense medical examiners have asserted that there is no scientific validity to cognitive remediation. This outstanding review of the literature clearly refutes that position and supports the use of cognitive remediation.

Previously, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine‘s (ACRM) brain injury interdisciplinary special interest group conducted an evidence-based review of the literature through 1997 about cognitive rehabilitation for people with traumatic brain injury or stroke. That review led the group to make several specific recommendations concerning the clinical practice of cognitive rehabilitation and its effectiveness in TBI and stroke patients.

The purpose of the literature review was to update the previous evidence-based recommendations. The study originally selected for inclusion 118 articles but on later review excluded 31 of those studies.

The authors concluded that there was substantial evidence to support cognitive rehabilitation with people with TBI, including strategy training for mild memory impairment, strategy training for post acute attention deficits and interventions for functional communication deficits. The study called for future research to move beyond the simple question of whether cognitive rehabilitation was effective and to examine the therapy factors and patient characteristics that optimize the clinical outcomes of cognitive rehabilitation.

The article can be found in Arch Phys Med Rehabil Volume 86, August 2005.