Reductions in Alexithymia and Emotion Dysregulation After Training Emotional Self-Awareness Following Traumatic Brain Injury: A Phase I Trial

Dawn Neumann, James F. Malec, Flora Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:: To examine the acceptability and initial efficacy of an emotional self-awareness treatment at reducing alexithymia and emotion dysregulation in participants with traumatic brain injury (TBI). SETTING:: An outpatient rehabilitation hospital. PARTICIPANTS:: Seventeen adults with moderate to severe TBI and alexithymia. Time postinjury ranged 1 to 33 years. DESIGN:: Within subject design, with 3 assessment times: baseline, posttest, and 2-month follow-up. INTERVENTION:: Eight lessons incorporated psychoeducational information and skill-building exercises teaching emotional vocabulary, labeling, and differentiating self-emotions; interoceptive awareness; and distinguishing emotions from thoughts, actions, and sensations. MEASURES:: Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20); Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS); Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI); Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9); State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI); Difficulty With Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS); and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). RESULTS:: Thirteen participants completed the treatment. Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed changes on the TAS-20 (P = .003), LEAS (P < .001), TAI (P = .014), STAXI (P = .015), DERS (P = .020), and positive affect (P < .005). Paired t tests indicated significant baseline to posttest improvements on these measures. Gains were maintained at follow-up for the TAS, LEAS, and positive affect. Treatment satisfaction was high. CONCLUSION:: This is the first study published on treating alexithymia post-TBI. Positive changes were identified for emotional self-awareness and emotion regulation; some changes were maintained several months posttreatment. Findings justify advancing to the next investigational phase for this novel intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 5 2017

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Affective Symptoms
Emotions
Equipment and Supplies
Anger
Anxiety
Vocabulary
Traumatic Brain Injury
Analysis of Variance
Teaching
Outpatients
Therapeutics
Rehabilitation
Exercise
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

@article{05d6f99a35914c61ab2742be438d896c,
title = "Reductions in Alexithymia and Emotion Dysregulation After Training Emotional Self-Awareness Following Traumatic Brain Injury: A Phase I Trial",
abstract = "OBJECTIVES:: To examine the acceptability and initial efficacy of an emotional self-awareness treatment at reducing alexithymia and emotion dysregulation in participants with traumatic brain injury (TBI). SETTING:: An outpatient rehabilitation hospital. PARTICIPANTS:: Seventeen adults with moderate to severe TBI and alexithymia. Time postinjury ranged 1 to 33 years. DESIGN:: Within subject design, with 3 assessment times: baseline, posttest, and 2-month follow-up. INTERVENTION:: Eight lessons incorporated psychoeducational information and skill-building exercises teaching emotional vocabulary, labeling, and differentiating self-emotions; interoceptive awareness; and distinguishing emotions from thoughts, actions, and sensations. MEASURES:: Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20); Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS); Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI); Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9); State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI); Difficulty With Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS); and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). RESULTS:: Thirteen participants completed the treatment. Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed changes on the TAS-20 (P = .003), LEAS (P < .001), TAI (P = .014), STAXI (P = .015), DERS (P = .020), and positive affect (P < .005). Paired t tests indicated significant baseline to posttest improvements on these measures. Gains were maintained at follow-up for the TAS, LEAS, and positive affect. Treatment satisfaction was high. CONCLUSION:: This is the first study published on treating alexithymia post-TBI. Positive changes were identified for emotional self-awareness and emotion regulation; some changes were maintained several months posttreatment. Findings justify advancing to the next investigational phase for this novel intervention.",
author = "Dawn Neumann and Malec, {James F.} and Flora Hammond",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "5",
doi = "10.1097/HTR.0000000000000277",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation",
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T1 - Reductions in Alexithymia and Emotion Dysregulation After Training Emotional Self-Awareness Following Traumatic Brain Injury

T2 - A Phase I Trial

AU - Neumann, Dawn

AU - Malec, James F.

AU - Hammond, Flora

PY - 2017/1/5

Y1 - 2017/1/5

N2 - OBJECTIVES:: To examine the acceptability and initial efficacy of an emotional self-awareness treatment at reducing alexithymia and emotion dysregulation in participants with traumatic brain injury (TBI). SETTING:: An outpatient rehabilitation hospital. PARTICIPANTS:: Seventeen adults with moderate to severe TBI and alexithymia. Time postinjury ranged 1 to 33 years. DESIGN:: Within subject design, with 3 assessment times: baseline, posttest, and 2-month follow-up. INTERVENTION:: Eight lessons incorporated psychoeducational information and skill-building exercises teaching emotional vocabulary, labeling, and differentiating self-emotions; interoceptive awareness; and distinguishing emotions from thoughts, actions, and sensations. MEASURES:: Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20); Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS); Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI); Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9); State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI); Difficulty With Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS); and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). RESULTS:: Thirteen participants completed the treatment. Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed changes on the TAS-20 (P = .003), LEAS (P < .001), TAI (P = .014), STAXI (P = .015), DERS (P = .020), and positive affect (P < .005). Paired t tests indicated significant baseline to posttest improvements on these measures. Gains were maintained at follow-up for the TAS, LEAS, and positive affect. Treatment satisfaction was high. CONCLUSION:: This is the first study published on treating alexithymia post-TBI. Positive changes were identified for emotional self-awareness and emotion regulation; some changes were maintained several months posttreatment. Findings justify advancing to the next investigational phase for this novel intervention.

AB - OBJECTIVES:: To examine the acceptability and initial efficacy of an emotional self-awareness treatment at reducing alexithymia and emotion dysregulation in participants with traumatic brain injury (TBI). SETTING:: An outpatient rehabilitation hospital. PARTICIPANTS:: Seventeen adults with moderate to severe TBI and alexithymia. Time postinjury ranged 1 to 33 years. DESIGN:: Within subject design, with 3 assessment times: baseline, posttest, and 2-month follow-up. INTERVENTION:: Eight lessons incorporated psychoeducational information and skill-building exercises teaching emotional vocabulary, labeling, and differentiating self-emotions; interoceptive awareness; and distinguishing emotions from thoughts, actions, and sensations. MEASURES:: Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20); Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS); Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI); Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9); State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI); Difficulty With Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS); and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). RESULTS:: Thirteen participants completed the treatment. Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed changes on the TAS-20 (P = .003), LEAS (P < .001), TAI (P = .014), STAXI (P = .015), DERS (P = .020), and positive affect (P < .005). Paired t tests indicated significant baseline to posttest improvements on these measures. Gains were maintained at follow-up for the TAS, LEAS, and positive affect. Treatment satisfaction was high. CONCLUSION:: This is the first study published on treating alexithymia post-TBI. Positive changes were identified for emotional self-awareness and emotion regulation; some changes were maintained several months posttreatment. Findings justify advancing to the next investigational phase for this novel intervention.

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