Cognitive speed training for children who have survived an acquired brain injury: A feasibility and acceptability study
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Processing speed, or the rate at which the brain can process information, is a foundational skill upon which other, more specialised abilities are built. As such, processing speed is a critical, core component of basic human cognition. Impairments in processing speed are a relatively common outcome of paediatric acquired brain injury (ABI), and may impact on a wide variety of important skills such as academic learning and social interaction. Recent evidence suggests that processing speed in children may be improved by playing certain games involving timed tasks and quick thinking. This project aims to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a cognitive speed training intervention within a paediatric ABI population. Families of six children (ages 9–13) with processing speed impairments due to neurological trauma were recruited to take part in an eight-week speed training intervention. Treatment involved playing widely available board, card, and computer games two hours per week for eight weeks. Results indicated both high feasibility (as measured by the number of sessions completed) and high acceptability (as measured by ease-of-use and user satisfaction, for both children and parents), while efficacy remains unclear. Implications and future directions are discussed.