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Affect Recognition: Enhancing Performance of Persons With Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00283153
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 27, 2006
Last Update Posted : August 4, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):

January 24, 2006
January 27, 2006
August 4, 2014
October 2008
September 2012   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
  • Diagnostic Assessment of Nonverbal Affect-Adult Faces (DANVA2-AF) [ Time Frame: Seven months ]
  • Emotional Inference From Stories Test [ Time Frame: Seven months ]
  • Intervention improves facial affect recognition; score on the Diagnostic Assessment of Nonverbal Affect-Adult Faces (DANVA2-AF)
  • Intervention improves vocal affect recognition; score on the Diagnostic Assessment of Nonverbal Affect-Adult Paralanguage (DANVA2-AP)
  • Intervention improves affect recognition for multiple dynamic cues; score on The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT)
  • Intervention improves affect recognition for situations; score on the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS)
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00283153 on ClinicalTrials.gov Archive Site
  • Interpersonal Reactivity Index [ Time Frame: Seven Months ]
  • Neuropsychiatric Inventory [ Time Frame: Seven Months ]
  • Interventions improve social behavior; score on Brock Adaptive Functioning Questionnaire (BAFQ)
  • Interventions improve social integration; score on the Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ)
Not Provided
Not Provided
Affect Recognition: Enhancing Performance of Persons With Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
Controlled Study of Affect Recognition Training for Individuals With Acquired Brain Injury
The purpose of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of three training programs designed to teach persons with acquired brain injury (ABI) to recognize emotions. It is hypothesized that the training programs will enhance several aspects of emotion recognition in persons with ABI. Furthermore, it is expected that these effects will be maintained over time, and will positively influence participants' social behavior and integration.

Research has demonstrated that persons with acquired brain injury (ABI) often have difficulty recognizing emotions. This includes emotions portrayed in facial expressions, as well as inferring emotions based on social context. The ability to identify emotions in others is an essential component for the engagement of successful social interactions. It has been suggested that a decreased ability to recognize emotions may result in inappropriate behaviors and have a detrimental impact on social relationships. Despite the significance of this problem, very few studies have addressed this need in the ABI population.

Comparisons: Three groups receiving computer-based training programs. Two of the groups are trained to learn how to identify emotions of happy, sad, angry and fearful. The third training experience presents participants with a variety of learning tasks from managing money to grocery shopping.

  1. Facial Affect Recognition (FAR) group: This group is shown faces on the computer and asked to identify the emotion being expressed. Subjects are also asked to describe situations that they associate with the emotions being trained, as well as mimic facial expressions in a mirror.
  2. Stories of Emotional Inference (SEI) group: This group is asked to read stories on the computer that describe the interaction of events with characters' beliefs, wants and behaviors. From this information, subjects are asked to infer the emotions of the characters throughout the stories.
  3. Cognitive Training Group (CTG): This group is given educational experiences in a variety of life skill areas including banking and applying for a job. This training is aimed at resolving some of the frustrations experienced by persons with ABI. Subjects may learn various computer skills including, Word, Excel, Internet Search or Games.

Before and after training, emotion recognition will be measured with pictures of faces; vocal recordings; stories that give the contextual cues to emotion; and hypothetical situations. In addition, participants' cognitive skills, social behavior and integration will also be assessed.

Phase 2
Phase 3
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Acquired Brain Injury (Including Stroke)
  • Behavioral: Facial Affect Recognition Training
    A series of pictures of faces displaying various emotions are presented one at a time using a computerized training program.Participants are taught to recognize how emotions affect facial features such as the mouth and eyes.Participants are also taught how to recognize their own emotions.
  • Other: Stories of Emotional Inference
    Participants are presented with a series of short stories one at a time. Each story presents various contextual cues regarding the emotions the characters are likely to experience. Participants learn to connect the cues to specific emotions.
    Other Name: Cognitive intervention
  • Experimental: FAR
    Facial affect recognition training (with computer assistance)
    Intervention: Behavioral: Facial Affect Recognition Training
  • Experimental: SEI
    Stories of Emotional Inference
    Intervention: Other: Stories of Emotional Inference

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
August 2014
September 2012   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age between eighteen and sixty-five years old.
  • At minimum, one year post-injury.
  • Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) of 12 or less, or stroke with hemi-paresis signifying a moderate to severe acquired brain injury.
  • A TBI that resulted in either a closed or open head injury or a stroke that resulted in severe disability
  • Perform at least one standard deviation below the norm on the DANVA2-Adult Faces test, a standardized assessment of facial affect recognition.
  • Verbally able to express a basic understanding of emotional descriptors (e.g. Happy, sad, angry, fearful).
  • Demonstrate basic comprehension for short paragraphs presented in 2 ways: 1)auditorily and 2)silent reading. This measure is part of the Discourse Comprehension Test.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosed mental illness.
  • Uncorrected visual acuity.
  • Uncorrected hearing impairment.
  • Perceptual impairment (visual neglect and/or visual discrimination).
  • Impaired verbal expression/ aphasia
  • Alcohol or substance abuse.
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Canada,   New Zealand,   United States
NIDRR H133G080043A
Not Provided
Not Provided
Barry Willer, University at Buffalo
University at Buffalo
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Massey University
  • Carolinas Healthcare System
  • Brock University
Principal Investigator: Barry Willer, Ph.D. University at Buffalo, Department of Psychiatry
University at Buffalo
August 2014

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP