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Improving planning and prospective memory in a virtual reality setting: investigating the use of periodic auditory alerts in conjunction with goal management training on a complex virtual reality task in individuals with acquired brain injury

Brown, Pamela (2009) Improving planning and prospective memory in a virtual reality setting: investigating the use of periodic auditory alerts in conjunction with goal management training on a complex virtual reality task in individuals with acquired brain injury. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Abstract Introduction: Deficits in planning and prospective memory are common after brain injury and contribute to difficulties participating in everyday activities. Recent research has suggested that using non-contingent auditory alerts may facilitate a ‘goal-review’ process and improve performance on tasks that make demands on executive functions. This study investigated whether combining alerts with a brief goal management training (GMT) programme would improve performance on a complex virtual reality task. Method: Twenty individuals with evidence of executive impairment completed two versions of the Removals Task, one trial with auditory alerts following a GMT session, and the other trial in standard, non-alerted conditions. Nineteen healthy controls were recruited to complete the task with no alerts or GMT. Results: The brain-injury group were significantly poorer than the controls on some measures of the task in non-alerted conditions. GMT and auditory alerts did not improve performance (though a sub-group analyses revealed improvement for 6 participants on one task measure). Discussion: Ceiling effects, brevity of the GMT procedure and paradoxical effects of the alerts on the measures are discussed as some possible reasons for failure to find significant differences. Sensitivity of the Removals Task to detect executive impairment and its efficacy as a potential cognitive rehabilitative assessment tool is investigated in light of differing findings between studies. Conclusion: The Removals Task revealed differences in performance between individuals with executive dysfunction and healthy controls on some measures. While a sub-group of participants did show improvement in the alerted condition for one measure, GMT and auditory alerts failed to improve performance in the brain-injury group on the majority of task measures. Limitations of the current study are acknowledged and recommendations for future research are given.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Key Words: Prospective memory, Executive dysfunction, Goal Management Training, Rehabilitation, Removals Task
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Evans, Professor Jonathan
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Miss Pamela Brown
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-1226
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:36
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1226

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