Free
Research Article  |   March 1994
Perceptual Retraining for Adults With Diffuse Brain Injury
Author Affiliations
  • Maureen E. Neistadt, ScD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Department, School of Health and Human Services, Hewitt Hall, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire 03824
Article Information
Neurologic Conditions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Special Issue on Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Research Article   |   March 1994
Perceptual Retraining for Adults With Diffuse Brain Injury
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1994, Vol. 48, 225-233. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.3.225
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1994, Vol. 48, 225-233. doi:10.5014/ajot.48.3.225
Abstract

Occupational therapy for adults with perceptual dysfunction secondary to diffuse acquired brain injury from trauma or anoxia often includes remedial retraining with treatment tasks, like construction of puzzles, to provide clients with practice in deficit perceptual skills. Therapists using this approach assume that adults with brain injury learn specific perceptual skills from retraining exercises and can transfer those skills across all activities (including self-care and community living activities) that require those skills. This review of outcome studies about remedial perceptual retraining for adults with diffuse acquired brain injury suggests that those learning assumptions hold true only for clients with localized lesions and preserved abstract reasoning who have been explicitly laught to transfer learning across a variety of treatment activities. Recommendations about ways to assess client’s learning potential and appropriateness for remedial retraining include keeping track of the number of repetitions clients need to relearn functional tasks and systematically varying functional tasks during training to see how easily clients can transfer learning across variations of the same task.