Hansen, Stubberud, Hjertstedt & Kirmess (2019): Intensive and standard group-based treatment for persons with social communication difficulties after an acquired bran injury: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial
I : BMJ Open, Online first, Open Access
Introduction Social communication difficulties (SCDs) occur frequently after an acquired brain injury (ABI) and have disabling consequences, but effective interventions are scant. Group Interactive Structured Treatment (GIST) is a holistic group treatment targeting SCD that has received empirical support.
Objective To determine the efficacy of two GIST protocols, standard GIST and a newly developed intensive GIST, comparing standard GIST results to a wait-list control group (WL), as well as to intensive GIST received by participants following WL. The within subject results for WL and intensive GIST will also be examined.
Methods and analysis Sixty adults (18–75 years) with SCD after ABI will be recruited for this randomized controlled trial. Standard GIST (n=30) will be delivered via outpatient sessions for 2.5 hours once per week for 12 weeks, plus one initial orientation session. Participants will be assessed at preintervention and postintervention and at 3-month and 6-month follow-ups (T1-T4). Intensive GIST (n=30) participants will be admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation unit for 4 weeks (two times 3 days/week, two times 4 days/week) and receive full-day sessions each week. Those participants will complete four assessments (T1-T4) in 12-week intervals as part of WL, assessments preintensive and postintensive GIST and at 3-month and 6-month follow-ups (T4-T7). The primary outcome measure is the La Trobe Questionnaire (self-report). Secondary outcome measures include the Profile of Pragmatic Impairment in Communication, a test of emotion recognition, the Goal Attainment Scale and questionnaires addressing social, emotional and cognitive functions, selfefficacy and quality of life.