Our team is playing an active part in the developing field of neuropsychology to aid rehabilitation by positively developing innovations to improve the quality of life for those with a brain injury.
Teen Online Problem-Solving (TOPS)
The TOPS intervention provides training in metacognitive strategies in social problem-solving skills, communication skills, self-monitoring and stress management to teenagers with brain injury and their families. TOPS is a computer-based training programme supported by regular coaching sessions. It’s delivered over a four to six month period and involves self-guided on-line modules that the teenager and their family complete on their own, and synchronous sessions with the coach via video-conferencing – initially weekly and then bi-weekly. There are 10 core sessions and a further six optional supplemental sessions.
TOPS has a strong evidence-based approach and has been shown, in randomised controlled trials in the United States, to improve executive function and behaviour based on parental reports and long-term functional outcomes. Dr Anna Adlam and her research group at the University of Exeter is currently conducting a feasibility study investigating the clinical and cost-effectiveness of TOPS-UK for young people following brain injury.
As a child with brain injury develops, the prevalence of behavioural difficulties, alongside the family burden as they care for their child can increase. Executive functioning skills are associated with behavioural functioning. For this reason, we support the development of family-based standardised approaches to improve executive functioning and await the outcome of Dr Adlam’s research with interest.
If you’re interested in this service, please get in touch.
Triple P is a well-validated structured parenting programme with demonstrable short- and long-term effects for the child, parent(s) and within family relationships.
Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP); a version of Triple P adapted specifically for parents of children with disabilities). It’s a structured programme of 10 sessions (eight group sessions and two telephone sessions with a psychologist) that focus on the development and practice of positive parenting strategies alongside stress management skills.
The prevalence of behavioural problems in children following brain injury is high. SSTP has been delivered as a structured group intervention to support the parents of brain- injured children with evidence of improvement. If you are interested in accessing SSTP as a structured intervention, please get in touch.
mTBI / concussion training
Management of concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) in children have become more widely recognised and understood over the past decade. They can result in behavioural changes, cognitive impairment and sleep disturbance.
We can also provide bespoke training to fit the individual needs of a school and staff group. Please get in touch if you’re interested in this service.
Music therapy is the evidence-based use of music in clinical situations that help people achieve desired health outcomes (Levitin 2014). Since the 1990s, research combining music and neuroscience have begun to delineate music therapy on the premise of neuroplasticity. Music therapy as a ‘treatment’ in acquired brain injury is described with outcomes associated with changes in the domains of psychological and emotional functioning, communication, cognition and behaviour and physical functioning (Magee 2009). Further information can be found here – (link to PDF).
Music’s considered to be a whole brain activity (Alluri and Toiviainen 2012) and intrinsically linked to emotion and memory (Juslin and Sloboda 2001). In this regard, the work by Deborah Budding and colleagues has outlined a ‘vertical brain’ model and contributions of subcortical structures in cognitive, behavioural, emotional and physical functioning, and the implications of interventions for neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders that recruit subcortical brain regions, which include rhythm and music-based methods (Budding & Koziol 2010).
Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is based on a neuroscience model of music perception and production and the influence of music on functional changes in the non-musical brain. NMT focuses on rhythmic synchronisation and temoral order in the recruitment of neurons and the strengthening and/or laying down of new connections in the brain (Thaut 2010; Thaut 2003). NMT is an evidence-based method that applies music-based methods to improve cognitive, sensory and motor outcomes following neurological disorders. The brain that engages in music is changed by engaging in music (Thaut 2005).
We value technology highly, recognising that it emulates and extends cognitive ability. We strongly believe that technology – both commercially available and customised – should be routinely integrated into neuropsychological rehabilitation. Alarms, smartphones, tablets, cameras, computer software, GPS systems and dictaphones can all be useful additional aids to support and compensate for cognitive and overall adaptive functioning to maximise independence.
Recolo works with assistive technology consultants to routinely introduce technology into neuropsychological rehabilitation and attached to specific rehabilitation goals. If you’re interested in this service please get in touch.