Category: Brain Injury; Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development); Stroke
Objective : To explore theexperiences of participants with social communication difficulties (SCD) and acquired brain injury (ABI) after Group Interactive Structured Treatment (GIST).
Design : Data from a pilot study and first phase of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), examining results from two GIST versions (standard GIST and Intensive GIST)
Setting : Standard GIST was delivered in an outpatient setting and intensive GIST in an inpatient setting at Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital (Norway).
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : Eleven subjects with ABI (73 % male, age 40±65 years). Inclusion was based upon the presence of social communication difficulties.
Interventions : GIST is a group-based intervention targeting social communication skills and consists of 12 modules. Standard GIST (n=5) was delivered in 2.5 hour sessions once a week for 12 weeks. Intensive GIST (n=6) was delivered over a period of four weeks with three sessions a week.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Post-treatment, all participants evaluated the treatments through a semi-structured evaluation form, with questions concerning GIST content.
Results : Preliminary results from the participation evaluation post-treatment showed that all GIST (n=11) subjects reported an overall satisfaction with the treatment. In particular, all subjects reported video feedback as very useful. Modules that where highlighted as especially useful in both groups were "self-assessment and goal setting". One participant in intensive GIST expressed: "a good balance between the treatment discussions and the social parts".
Conclusions : The participants experienced an overall satisfaction with standard GIST and intensive GIST. However, there is a need for more research exploring the participants experience and the effects of GIST for persons with SCD.
Silje Hansen– PhD-candidate, Department of Special Needs Education, University of Oslo, Oslo, Oslo
Melanie Kirmess– Associate Professor, Department of Spesial Needs Education, University of Oslo, Oslo, Oslo
Jan Stubberud– Neuropsychologist, Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital, Oslo, Oslo