Graduation Date

4-2013

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

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-based cognitive retraining program, the Parrot Software, on improving cognitive deficits in memory and attention in individuals with a chronic acquired brain injury (ABI).

Research Design: This study utilized a quantitative quasi-experimental one-group pretest-posttest design.

Participants: Eleven adults over 18 years of age who sustained a chronic ABI two or more years prior to participation in the study and demonstrated deficits in memory and attention were included. Only individuals with ABI due to traumatic brain injury, hemorrhagic cerebrovascular accident, or ischemic cerebrovascular accident were included.

Method and Procedures: The study was conducted over a period of five months, during which participants completed a total of eight 60-minute sessions using the Parrot Software. The participants completed eight sub-programs in memory and attention. Pretest and posttest data were collected using the paper version of the Cognistat Assessment (2009). In order to control for bias and create inter-rater reliability, each researcher was trained in administering the standardized Cognistat Assessment (2009) and the Parrot software, and participated in the process of data collection and analysis.

Results: A significant improvement was found in both memory and attention scores post-intervention. No significant correlations were found between memory or attention changes and age, years since injury, and education level.

Conclusion: Computer-based cognitive retraining programs, such as the Parrot Software, may be effective in improving cognitive deficits in memory and attention in individuals with chronic acquired brain injury; however, further research is recommended to strengthen these findings and to investigate transfer to functional performance.

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