Content » Vol 45, Issue 8

Original report

Neuropsychological intervention in the acute phase: A pilot study of emotional wellbeing of relatives of patients with severe brain injury Anne Norup, Lars Siert, Erik Lykke Mortensen

Anne Norup, Lars Siert, Erik Lykke Mortensen
Department of Neurorehabilitation, Traumatic Brain Injury Unit, Copenhagen University Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1181


This pilot study investigated the effects of acute neuropsychological intervention for relatives of patients with severe brain injury.
Participants were enrolled in an intervention group comprising 39 relatives, and a control group comprising 47 relatives. The intervention consisted of supportive and psycho-educational sessions with a neuropsychologist in the acute care setting. The intervention group completed self-report scales in the acute setting and after the intervention at admission to sub-acute rehabilitation. The control group completed the self-report scales only at admission to sub-acute rehabilitation. Outcome measures included selected scales from the Symptom Checklist Revised 90 (SCL-90-R), the Short Form 36 (SF-36), and a visual analogue quality of life scale.
The intervention group showed a significant decrease in anxiety scores from the acute to the sub-acute setting (= 2.70 = 0.0100.30), but also significantly lower Role Emotional scores (= 2.12 = 0.043, = 0.40). In the sub-acute setting, an analysis of covariance model showed a borderline significant difference between the intervention and the control group on the anxiety scale (= 0.066 = 0.59).
Any effects of the acute neuropsychological intervention were limited. Further research is needed to explore the effects of different interventions in more homo-genous and larger groups of relatives.

Lay Abstract


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