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Rehabilitation for Impaired Attention in the Acute and Post-Acute Phase After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Narrative Review.

Impaired attention is the most common and debilitating cognitive deficit following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Attention is a fundamental function that profoundly influences the performance of other cognitive components such as memory and execution. Intriguingly, attention can be improved through cognitive rehabilitation. This narrative review summarizes the essential elements of rehabilitation for attention problems in acute and post-acute TBI. In the acute phase of mild TBI, investigations into the medical history and daily life performance, neurological examination, screening and management of concomitant sleep-wake disorders or neuropsychiatric disorders, and support and education on the natural course of concussion are covered. Rehabilitation for patients with moderate-to-severe TBI consists of serial assessment for patients with disorders of consciousness and a post-traumatic confusion state. In the post-acute phase after TBI, components of rehabilitation include investigating medical history; neurological, imaging, and electrophysiological tests; evaluation and treatment of factors that may impact attention, including sleep-wake, emotional, and behavioral disorders; evaluation of attention function; and cognitive rehabilitation as a matter of course. We summarized metacognitive strategy, direct attention training, computer-based cognitive interventions, medication, and environmental control as interventions to enhance attention.

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