The rehabilitation of brain injury patients has traditionally focused on physical and cognitive therapies. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is widely used and has a strong track record of improving psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Even though rates of anxiety and depression are high in brain injury patients, CBT is rarely integrated into their rehabilitation or outpatient programs.
Recently, researchers found that 11 sessions of CBT given to acquired brain injury patients over 6 months relieved symptoms of depression and anxiety, decreased feelings of distress, and improved community reintegration. What is more remarkable about this study is that it compared traditional face-to-face therapy with teletherapy-CBT administered via telephone. The benefits of teletherapy were comparable to traditional therapy, which is important for brain injury patients who have limited access to traditional therapy, either because of distance or physical limitations.
Arundine A, Bradbury CL, Dupuis K, et al. Cognitive behavior therapy after acquired brain injury: Maintenance of therapeutic benefits at 6 months posttreatment. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. (April 2011).