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A randomised control trial to evaluate a paging system for people with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
WILSON, B.A., EMSLIE, H., Quirk, K., Evans, J. & WATSON, P.
Brain Injury, 19(11), 891-894
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Although memory problems following acquired brain damage are common, some people are able to compensate for these problems through external aids. We recently demonstrated that a paging system could reduce the everyday memory and planning problems for people with non progressive brain injury (4145). The 143 patients who participated in the study, comprised several diagnostic groups. In this paper we report on the subgroup of people with TBI (N = 63). A randomised control crossover design randomly allocated people to group A (pager first) or group B (waiting list first). Each participant chose their own tasks for which they needed reminders. During a two-week baseline successful task achievement was documented. Group A achieved 47.14 per cent of tasks and group B 47.88 per cent. People in group A then received a pager for 7 weeks. During the last two weeks of this 7-week period, task achievement was documented again. Group A now achieved 71.80 per cent of tasks and group B (on the waiting list) achieved 49.05 per cent (no different from baseline). Group A then returned their pagers and group B received pagers. During the last two weeks of this stage participants were monitored once more. At this point people in group A had dropped back slightly but were still significantly better than during the baseline (67.23 per cent). Group B, meanwhile were now achieving 73.62 per cent of tasks. This was significantly better than baseline and significantly better than group A at the same stage. We conclude that this paging system significantly reduces the everyday memory and planning problems of people with TBI.