Reduction of chronic aggressive behaviour 10 years after brain injury

Catherine Watson, Neil A. Rutterford, Diane Shortland, Nick Williamson, Nick Alderman

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    38 Citations (Scopus)


    This study demonstrates the successful management of aggressive behaviour with a client 10 years post-injury in a small, residential neurorehabilitation unit. The case presented is unusual for two main reasons. First, it proved possible to significantly modify previously chronic challenging behaviour many years after brain injury had been sustained. Secondly, the rehabilitation environment in which treatment was conducted did not comprise a highly specialized neurobehavioural service, Instead, staff were specifically trained regarding the administration of the treatment programme, which was based on principles derived from behaviour modification and applied neuropsychology. Specific interventions used included those of differential reinforcement and graduated increase of expectations. Recordings made over the course of 85 weeks demonstrate a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of aggression. Successful inhibition of challenging behaviour attained a level which facilitated transfer of the client to a non-institutionalized community home. Reasons underlying the success of the intervention, and the limitations inherent in attempting to manage aggression within neurorehabilitation environments will be discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1003-1015
    Number of pages13
    JournalBrain Injury
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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