Theory of mind impairment after severe traumatic brain injury and its relationship with caregivers' quality of life

Umberto Bivona, Rita Formisano, Sara De Laurentiis, Natascia Accetta, Maria Rita Di Cosimo, Roberta Massicci, Paola Ciurli, Eva Azicnuda, Daniela Silvestro, Umberto Sabatini, Chiara Falletta Caravasso, Giovanni Augusto Carlesimo, Carlo Caltagirone, Alberto Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Theory of mind (ToM) deficits are common consequences of severe Traumatic Brain Injury (sTBI), but little is known about their impact on patients' and their caregivers' quality of life. This study aimed (i) to examine the presence of ToMdifficulties in individuals with sTBI and adequate levels of self-awareness (SA); (ii) to investigate their relationship with perceived Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in patients and their caregivers. Methods: Twenty individuals with sTBI and adequate levels of SA, and 20 healthy controls (HCs) were recruited. ToM was examined by the Faux-pas Recognition paradigm. The QOLIBRI questionnaire was administered to patients and their caregivers to assess their HRQoL. Cognitive functioning and psychopathology were evaluated. Results: Individuals with sTBI were less accurate than HCs on the Faux-pas Recognition paradigm. Patients' satisfaction of HRQoLwas related to their performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Caregivers' satisfactionwas significantly predicted by patients' score on the Faux-pas paradigm. Conclusions: ToMis impaired in individuals with sTBI and adequate levels of SA. Moreover, their ToMperformance predicted HRQoL in the caregivers. From a clinical perspective, these results provide understanding of the potential impact of ToM impairment in subjects with sTBI and their social system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-345
Number of pages11
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 17 2015

Keywords

  • neuropsychotherapeutic approach
  • psychological support
  • quality of life
  • self-awareness
  • theory of mind
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

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