Psychosocial interventions and cognitive rehabilitation

PI:       
Prof. C. van Heugten
Dr. M. de Vugt

Research Staff:   
Prof. R. Ponds
Dr. M. van Boxtel
Prof. F. Verhey

Postdocs:   
Dr. I. Winkens
Dr. Claire Wolfs
Dr. G. Wolters

PhD-students:   
B. Dandachi-Fitzgerald
B. Ament
L. Boots
I. Brands
J. Collet
M. van Eeden
M. Fens
R. van Knippenberg
B. ter Mors
V. Moulaert
S. Smeets
N. Tielemans,
L. Willemstein
A. Dam

Co-investigators extern:
International Interdem network

Focus of research:   
Cognitive rehabilitation and health service evaluation research. Interventions in cognitive and acquired brain disorders

In this research line a strong focus is put on evidence-based neuropsychological interventions, psychosocial interventions, caregiver interventions, cognitive rehabilitation and health service evaluation research. Interventions are investigated in cognitive and acquired brain disorders. In addition, research is focussing on the development and evaluation of new instruments to measure outcome of treatment and on investigating factors which influence outcome.

Innovative treatment techniques are being evaluated in this program, such as self-management techniques and e-health interventions.

The program on e-health intervention studies funded by Alzheimer Netherlands / Alzheimer Research Fund Limburg is well underway. Aim of the program is to support dementia patients and informal caregivers in their home environment. In this program 2 PhD students (L. Boots / R. van Knippenberg) study the feasibility and effectiveness of two newly developed e-health interventions. The programme was expanded with a third PhD student in 2013, developing a web-based tool to enhance social support.

The NWO/FES Brain & Cognition program (0.9 Me) continued in 2013 studying the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation and factors influencing the success of cognitive rehabilitation. In 2013, new interventions for executive dysfunction in Parkinson patients (Groningen), errorless learning augmented Goal Management Training (Nijmegen), problem solving therapy for stroke patients (Rotterdam) and the ABC method for severe behavioural problems after acquired brain injury (Maastricht) have been developed, and recruitment for efficacy studies has started. In addition, factors influencing rehabilitation outcome are being studied: self-awareness (Maastricht), learning style and learning potential (Utrecht/Maastricht).