Who knows best? Awareness of divided attention difficulty in a neurological rehabilitation setting
Cock, J., Fordham, C., Cockburn, J. and Haggard, P. (2003) Who knows best? Awareness of divided attention difficulty in a neurological rehabilitation setting. Brain Injury, 17 (7). pp. 561-574. ISSN 0269-9052
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/0269905031000088306
Objective: To explore whether patients relearning to walk after acquired brain injury and showing cognitive-motor interference were aware of divided attention difficulty; whether their perceptions concurred with those of treating staff. Design: Patients and neurophysiotherapists (from rehabilitation and disabled wards) completed questionnaires. Factor analyses were applied to responses. Correlations between responses, clinical measures and experimental decrements were examined. Results: Patient/staff responses showed some agreement; staff reported higher levels of perceived difficulty; responses conformed to two factors. One factor (staff/patients alike) reflected expectations about functional/motor status and did not correlate with decrements. The other factor (patients) correlated significantly with dual-task motor decrement, suggesting some genuine awareness of difficulty (cognitive performance prioritized over motor control). The other factor (staff) correlated significantly with cognitive decrement (gait prioritized over sustained attention). Conclusions: Despite some inaccurate estimation of susceptibility; patients and staff do exhibit awareness of divided attention difficulty, but with a limited degree of concurrence. In fact, our results suggest that patients and staff may be sensitive to different aspects of the deficit. Rather than 'Who knows best?', it is a question of 'Who knows what?.