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Using a paging system in the rehabilitation of an encephalitic patient
EMSLIE, H., DEWAR, B.K. & Wilson, B.A.
Brain Impairment, 6(2), 148
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Memory and executive problems following encephalitis are common yet there are few published papers on the successful rehabilitation of such patients. We recently demonstrated (Wilson, Emslie et al., 2001, 2005) that a paging system could reduce the everyday memory and planning problems for people with nonprogressive brain injury. The 143 patients who participated in the study, comprised several diagnostic groups, including encephalitis. We report the case of a 49-year-old man, RC, who was 3 years post-encephalitis and was one of the participants in the 2001 study. A randomised control crossover design randomly allocated people to group A (pager first) or group B (waiting list first). Each participant chose his own tasks for which he needed reminders. During a 2-week baseline, successful task achievement was documented. The group as a whole achieved a little over 47.14% of tasks but RC's task success was only 2.2%. RC, who had been randomly allocated to group A, then received a pager for 7 weeks. During the last 2 weeks of this 7-week period, task achievement was documented again. RC now achieved 79.54% of tasks which compared favourably with the 71.8% average achieved by the rest of group A. Group A participants then returned their pagers (which were passed to group B) and entered the last 7-week phase in the study. During the last 2 weeks of this stage, participants were monitored once more. RC failed to achieve any of his target tasks, returning to baseline levels. This was far below the average achievement of the group which was 67.23% of targets and indicates that he would need the paging system on a long-term basis. Poster given at the Conference on Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, July 11-12, 2005, Galway Ireland.