Cognitive behavioural therapy skills in children who have sustained an acquired brain injury

Ingham, Jessica (2014) Cognitive behavioural therapy skills in children who have sustained an acquired brain injury. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Background: Childhood brain injury can result in cognitive, behavioural, and psychological difficulties. It is reported that many children who have suffered a brain injury experience the same level of emotional distress as children seen in mental health services. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has been shown to be an effective intervention for a range of psychological disorders that arise during childhood, yet to date there is little evidence to suggest whether this is a beneficial therapy for children with acquired brain injury (ABI). The current study explored
whether children who have sustained an ABI have the necessary skills to engage in CBT, by assessing their ability to distinguish between and link thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Furthermore, performance on these tasks was investigated in relation to a number of cognitive functions thought to enhance an individual‘s ability to engage in CBT.
Methods: The study employed a between-subjects design comparing typically developing children (n = 20) and children who have sustained a brain injury (n = 18). Children were aged 8-12 years. Children completed two measures of CBT skill, a theory of mind (ToM) task, a brief measure of intelligence, and questionnaires relating to mood and metacognition. Parents also completed
questionnaires relating to empathy, executive functioning, and their child‘s overall strengths and difficulties.
Results: Children with ABI demonstrated significantly poorer performance on the CBT skills tasks than typically developing children. Significant relationships were also found between empathy, ToM and performance on the tasks. However, contrary to the hypotheses, mental health/behavioural difficulties, executive functioning, and metacognition did not significantly impact on task performance.
Conclusions: This highlights that children with ABI may find engaging with CBT challenging. Continued research investigating the application of CBT for children with ABI would be valuable, as well as further exploration of how different cognitive functions impact on CBT participation.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Users 2593 not found.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2014 15:34
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2014 15:34

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