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Journal Articles Annales de Réadaptation et de Médecine Physique Year : 2008

[Ecological assessment of executive functions in a patient with acquired brain injury]

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Dysexecutive syndrome is one of the most frequent sequel of severe traumatic brain injury. It causes severe disabilities and it is incompletely assessed by the classical "paper and pencil" neuropsychological tests. We developed an ecological assessment conducted in a naturalistic situation, consisting of a cooking task, and we described a classification of errors. This assessment is very sensitive, even to a mild dysexecutive syndrome. OBJECTIVE: To describe the disabilities in activities of daily living of a traumatic brain-injured patient and to demonstrate the sensitivity of an ill-structured ecological assessment. METHOD: We report a single case study illustrating how the ecological assessment by the cooking task helped better understand and characterize the patient's disabilities. RESULTS: The patient presented severe disabilities in daily life activities, which were well described by his family. His cognitive disorders were mild in the cognitive tests, even those supposed to be more ecological, such as the Six Elements Task or script generation. He exhibited very severe disorders in the cooking task, with a very high number of errors. Moreover, duration of the cooking task was very long; he did not achieve the goal and exhibited dangerous behaviour. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The cooking task involves abilities to deal with multitasking, which particularly involve executive functions. The most severe disorders were observed during the patient's interaction with the environment while conducting a complex goal-directed action plan, indicating control disorders. This type of naturalistic assessment provides very useful information to help patients organise their familial, social or professional reintegration.

Dates and versions

hal-00272339 , version 1 (11-04-2008)



M. Chevignard, C. Taillefer, C. Picq, Pascale Pradat-Diehl. [Ecological assessment of executive functions in a patient with acquired brain injury]. Annales de Réadaptation et de Médecine Physique, 2008, 51 (2), pp.74-83. ⟨10.1016/j.annrmp.2007.10.008⟩. ⟨hal-00272339⟩
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