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Using text messaging as an intervention to help with goal-relevant behaviour after brain injury Main Image

Using text messaging as an intervention to help with goal-relevant behaviour after brain injury

Thu 19 Jan 2017


To examine feasibility of participant-created implementation intentions, delivered as text message reminders, to enhance goal-related activity in persons with chronic, moderate/severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).


Pilot randomized controlled trial on effects of 8 weeks receiving goal-related implementation intentions (GI) compared to control condition, educational review regarding goals (GR).


Eight persons with moderate/severe TBI nearing discharge from intensive outpatient brain injury treatment.


Neuropsychological tests to characterize cognitive status; Participation with Recombined Tools-Objective (PART-O) assessing community activity, social relations and productivity; Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) assessing depression, anxiety and overall distress; Goal Attainment Scales (GAS). PART-O, BSI-18 and GAS were completed at baseline and 8 weeks; significant others provided ratings on PART-O and GAS.


Participants replied to SMS messages at high rates. Statistically significant group × time interactions with medium-to-large effect sizes favouring the GI group were observed on PART-O community activity and social relations. Neither BSI-18 nor GAS revealed differences or trends by group. Qualitative results suggested overall acceptance and success of SMS reminders.


Given positive preliminary findings, implementation intentions delivered by text holds promise as a simple, low-cost intervention to help people with moderate/severe TBI to implement goal-relevant behaviours.


Reference: Hart, T., & Vaccaro, M.J. (2017). Goal intention reminding in traumatic brain injury: A feasibility study using implementation intentions and text messaging. Brain Injury, 31(3), 297-303.  


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