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Social cognition and its relationship to functional outcomes in patients with sustained acquired brain injury

Authors Ubukata S, Tanemura R, Yoshizumi M, Sugihara G, Murai T, Ueda K

Received 21 May 2014

Accepted for publication 6 August 2014

Published 3 November 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 2061—2068

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S68156

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Shiho Ubukata,1,2 Rumi Tanemura,2 Miho Yoshizumi,1 Genichi Sugihara,1 Toshiya Murai,1 Keita Ueda1

1Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 2Department of Rehabilitation Science, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan

Abstract: Deficits in social cognition are common after traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, little is known about how such deficits affect functional outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between social cognition and functional outcomes in patients with TBI. We studied this relationship in 20 patients with TBI over the course of 1 year post-injury. Patients completed neurocognitive assessments and social cognition tasks. The social cognition tasks included an emotion-perception task and three theory of mind tasks: the Faux Pas test, Reading the Mind in the Eyes (Eyes) test, and the Moving-Shapes paradigm. The Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique was used to assess functional outcomes. Compared with our database of normal subjects, patients showed impairments in all social cognition tasks. Multiple regression analysis revealed that theory of mind ability as measured by the Eyes test was the best predictor of the cognitive aspects of functional outcomes. The findings of this pilot study suggest that the degree to which a patient can predict what others are thinking is an important measure that can estimate functional outcomes over 1 year following TBI.

Keywords: Eyes test, social emotion perception, social function, social participation, theory of mind

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