Remote technology-based training programs for children with acquired brain injury: A systematic review and a meta-analytic exploration

Claudia Corti, Viola Oldrati, Maria Chiara Oprandi, Elisabetta Ferrari, Geraldina Poggi, Renato Borgatti, Cosimo Urgesi, Alessandra Bardoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation interventions are considered to be a need for children with acquired brain injury (ABI), in order to remediate the important sequelae and promote adjustment. Technology-based treatments represent a promising field inside the rehabilitation area, as they allow delivering interventions in ecological settings and creating amusing exercises that may favor engagement. In this work, we present an overview of remote technology-based training programs (TP) addressing cognitive and behavioral issues delivered to children with ABI and complement it with the results of a meta-analytic exploration. Evidence Acquisition. We performed the review process between January and February 2019. 32 studies were included in the review, of which 14 were further selected to be included in the meta-analysis on TP efficacy. Evidence Synthesis. Based on the review process, the majority of TP addressing cognitive issues and all TP focusing on behavioral issues were found to be effective. Two meta-analytic models examining the means of either cognitive TP outcomes or behavioral TP outcomes as input outcome yielded a nonsignificant effect size for cognitive TP and a low-moderate effect size for behavioral TP. Additional models on outcomes reflecting the greatest beneficial effects of TP yielded significant moderate effect sizes for both types of TP. Nevertheless, consistent methodological heterogeneity was observed, pointing to cautious interpretation of findings. A subgroup analysis on visuospatial skill outcomes showed a smaller yet significant effect size of cognitive TP, with low heterogeneity, providing a more reliable estimation of overall cognitive TP effects. Conclusions. Promising results on remote cognitive and behavioral TP efficacy emerged both at the review process and at the meta-analytic investigation. Nevertheless, the high heterogeneity that emerged across studies prevents us from drawing definite conclusions. Further research is needed to identify whether specific training characteristics and population subgroups are more likely to be associated with greater training efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1346987
Number of pages31
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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