Research Reports - Effects of exercise and self-affirmation intervention after traumatic brain injury

NeuroRehabilitation. 2014 Jul 2

Lee YS(1), Ashman T(2), Shang A(3), Suzuki W(3)

BACKGROUND: Physical exercise has been proven to be an effective method for
improving cognition and mood, but little is known about its benefits among
individuals with traumatic brain injury.
OBJECTIVE: This pilot study investigated the feasibility of a combined exercise
and self-affirmation intervention (IntenSati) for enhancing cognition and mood in
individuals with TBI. It was hypothesized that this intervention would improve
individuals' cognition and mood following the completion of the program.
METHOD: This intervention was held at an outpatient rehabilitation department in
an urban medical center. A wait-list control design was conducted. Twenty-one
adult participants-at least 12-months post-TBI-enrolled in the study. Twelve of
them completed the study. Assessment was conducted at three time-points
throughout the study using neuropsychological and self-report measures to
evaluate participants' cognition and mood. Following initial evaluation,
participants were assigned into either the immediate intervention group or the
waitlist control group. During the intervention, participants attended the
program twice a week over the course of 8 weeks. Debriefing was conducted
following the completion of the program.
RESULTS: Both independent t tests and paired t tests were utilized. Results
indicated that the intervention group experienced less depressive symptoms
following the completion of the IntenSati program compared to the waitlist
control group. Participants also reported having less depressive symptoms,
experienced more positive affect, and had a higher quality of life following the
completion of the program. Moderate-to-large effect sizes were found on decrease
in negative affect. However, results associated with cognitive benefits were
mixed. The participants tolerated the program well and reported satisfaction with
the program.
CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study indicated that the IntenSati exercise
program is a feasible and beneficial intervention for individuals with TBI as
supported by the positive impact on their mood and quality of life.

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