Evans, Jyoti Kainth (2009)
Clin.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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After sustaining a brain injury, severe disabilities in daily activities can occur. The aims of this study were to develop a test of decision-making sensitive to assessing for an acquired brain injury (ABI). The Escape Task was based on the executive function principle of ‘task setting and rule governed behaviour’, which monitored spontaneous and inductive reasoning in order for the task to be completed. The execution of the Escape Task was studied in 38 participants – 19 with ABI, and 19 neurologically healthy controls. In the uncued version of the Escape Test, performance did not differentiate between those with an ABI and neurologically healthy control participants. However, the cued version of the task did discriminate well between those with an ABI and neurologically healthy controls. Task performance was found to not be associated with performance on an established measure of executive function, but was found to be relatively independent of general intellectual functioning and memory. Preliminary findings have identified two error-making styles that could be associated with brain injury. The overall results demonstrated the clinical utility of the test when assessing for whether an individual belongs to a healthy or brain injured group, and whether spontaneous or inductive reasoning was superior.
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