Functional skill learning in men with traumatic brain injury

Clare G. Giuffrida, Jason A. Demery, Lisa R. Reyes, Brian K. Lebowitz, Robert E. Hanlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The number of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) having persistent deficits that compromise their ability to perform everyday skills is increasing. Previous occupation-based studies indicate that computer-based skills using repetitive practice may be a viable option for retraining. We investigated the effects of different practice schedules on skill learning in 6 men with TBI. Participants with significant impairments in processing and fine motor control practiced 3 tasks using a random (n=3) or a blocked (n=3) ordered practice schedule. Practice occurred for 55 min/day for 13 days with retention and transfer trials taking place 2 weeks after training. Both groups showed a significant increase in performance during skill acquisition and maintained this performance. Only the random-practice group however was able to transfer this learning to another task. The findings provide evidence that people with TBI can improve their everyday skills with randomly structured practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-407
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Brain injuries
  • Cognition disorders
  • Learning
  • Motor skills
  • Task performance and analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy

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