Perspective training to treat anger problems after brain injury: Two case studies

Jill Winegardner, Clare Keohane, Leyla Prince, Dawn Neumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: People with acquired brain injury (ABI) often show increased anger and aggression. Anger has been linked to attributions of hostile intent. The more intentional and hostile the judgments of other's behaviours are, the angrier the responses tend to be. Some people with ABI tend to make harsher attributions than healthy controls (negative attribution bias). Poor perspective-taking may distort assessment of others' intentions, thereby contributing to this bias and subsequent anger responses. OBJECTIVE: Examine changes in anger and perspective-taking after a Perspectives Group in two participants with ABI. METHODS: This study is a case report exploring observational changes in anger, hostility, verbal and physical aggression and perspective-taking in two males with ABI and severe emotion dysregulation. Participants and their spouses also provided qualitative feedback through a semi-structured interview following perspectives training. The six-week "Perspectives Group" used hypothetical and real-life situations to teach participants to consider the perspectives of others when determining their intentions. RESULTS: Both participants showed post-treatment declines in aggression. Although only minimal changes occurred on the perspective-taking measure, spouses described important behavioural changes in their partners that indicated both decreased aggression and better perspective taking. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings support further investigation of perspectives training for reducing anger after ABI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroRehabilitation
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Brain injury
  • anger management
  • attributions
  • hostility bias
  • perspective taking
  • perspectives training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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