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Case Study. Emotional adjustment following cognitive recovery from 'persistent vegetative state': psychological and personal perceptives
Macniven, J.A., Poz, R., Bainbridge, K., Gracey, F., and WILSON, B.A.
Brain Injury, 17(6), 525-533.
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Previously, the cognitive recovery of a 26 year old woman, Kate, who developed a severe encephalomyelopathy and was in a 'minimally conscious/persistent vegetative state' for 6 months was reported. After 6 months, Kate began to respond to her environment and, at 2 years post-illness, neuropsychological assessment indicated that Kate was functioning within the normal range on tests of general intellectual functioning, executive functioning and most memory functions (with the exception of visual recognition memory). Although Kate has a severe dysarthria necessitating the use of a communication board and severe physical disabilities that require her to use a wheelchair, she has demonstrated an almost complete cognitive recovery and is among a tiny percentage of minimally conscious patients to do so. This single case report describes the emotional factors central to Kate's rehabilitation. Using a newly developed model of cognitive rehabilitation as a framework, the pivotal role that emotional and psychological factors played in Kate's adjustment to the consequences of her illness and the role of psychotherapeutic intervention in facilitating this adjustment are discussed.