Graduation Date

5-2014

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, Ed.D, OTR/L

First Reader

Kitsum Li, OTD, OTR/L

Abstract

Individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) often experience cognitive deficits. This creates many challenges in learning or relearning skills and generalizing skills among different contexts and task demands. Computer-Based Cognitive Retraining (CBCR) is a common intervention utilized by occupational therapists to help remediate cognitive deficits in individuals with ABI. Although research has shown that CBCR programs are effective at improving cognitive domains, there is limited evidence to support generalization of these skills to functional daily living tasks. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study was to assess the occurrence of generalizing gained skills in overall cognition, attention, and memory from a CBCR program to a medication-box task in individuals with ABI. This study utilized the Parrot Software for the CBCR intervention and evaluated changes in overall cognition, attention, and memory skills with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA©), and generalization of those skills utilizing a performance-based medication-box task. The results indicated that the Parrot Software CBCR was effective at improving overall cognition, but not significantly in any particular cognitive domain. In addition, the gains in overall cognition failed to generalize to improved performance in the medication-box task. Extraneous variables did not affect the changes in cognition. However, participants without previous CBCR experience improved significantly when compared to participants with previous CBCR experience. Future areas of research should include interventions that can bridge the gap between CBCR and performance in daily living tasks.

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