Cognitive impairment after a stroke has a direct impact on patients’ disability. In particular, impairment of Executive Functions (EFs) interferes with re-adaptation to daily life. The aim of this study was to explore whether adding a computer-based training on EFs to an ordinary rehabilitation program, regardless of the specific brain damage and clinical impairment (motor, language, or cognitive), could improve rehabilitation outcomes in patients with stroke. An EF training was designed to have minimal motor and expressive language demands and to be applied to a wide range of clinical conditions. A total of 37 stroke patients were randomly assigned to two groups: a training group, which performed the EF training in addition to the ordinary rehabilitation program (treatment as usual), and a control group, which performed the ordinary rehabilitation exclusively. Both groups were assessed before and after the rehabilitation program on neuropsychological tests covering multiple cognitive domains, and on functional scales (Barthel index, Functional Independence Measure). The results showed that only patients who received the training improved their scores on the Attentional Matrices and Phonemic Fluency tests after the rehabilitation program. Moreover, they showed a greater functional improvement in the Barthel scale as well. These results suggest that combining an EF training with an ordinary rehabilitation program potentiates beneficial effects of the latter, especially in promoting independence in activities of daily living.

Efficacy of a Training on Executive Functions in Potentiating Rehabilitation Effects in Stroke Patients

Tarantino, Vincenza
;
Burgio, Francesca;Toffano, Roberta;Weis, Luca;Vallesi, Antonino
Supervision
2021

Abstract

Cognitive impairment after a stroke has a direct impact on patients’ disability. In particular, impairment of Executive Functions (EFs) interferes with re-adaptation to daily life. The aim of this study was to explore whether adding a computer-based training on EFs to an ordinary rehabilitation program, regardless of the specific brain damage and clinical impairment (motor, language, or cognitive), could improve rehabilitation outcomes in patients with stroke. An EF training was designed to have minimal motor and expressive language demands and to be applied to a wide range of clinical conditions. A total of 37 stroke patients were randomly assigned to two groups: a training group, which performed the EF training in addition to the ordinary rehabilitation program (treatment as usual), and a control group, which performed the ordinary rehabilitation exclusively. Both groups were assessed before and after the rehabilitation program on neuropsychological tests covering multiple cognitive domains, and on functional scales (Barthel index, Functional Independence Measure). The results showed that only patients who received the training improved their scores on the Attentional Matrices and Phonemic Fluency tests after the rehabilitation program. Moreover, they showed a greater functional improvement in the Barthel scale as well. These results suggest that combining an EF training with an ordinary rehabilitation program potentiates beneficial effects of the latter, especially in promoting independence in activities of daily living.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3396608
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