Rehabilitation of visuospatial deficits using computer-based FORAMENRehab program in children with epilepsy
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Children with epilepsy have shown deficits in attention and visuospatial functions, which could disrupt their normal life. For example, visuospatial functions have been found to predict achievements in mathematics. Very few systematically controlled evidence-based neurorehabilitation treatments for children exist at the moment. Using modern cognitive rehabilitation methods in children is important for their development and remediation. The aim of the current study was to test the effectiveness of computer-based rehabilitation program in the treatment of visuospatial deficit for children with epilepsy. 58 children aged 8-12 participated in the study: 17 children diagnosed with epilepsy were in the training group, 22 children in the waiting-list control group and 19 healthy controls. The training group received guided visuospatial functions training using the FORAMENRehab software. Trainings took place twice a week for a 5-week period. Baseline assessments were carried out before and immediately after the intervention and a follow-up assessment 1.31 years after. Remarkable improvements were observed in the training group following intervention. The training group showed positive immediate rehabilitation effect in 3 out of 4 visuospatial components: visual organization, visual attention and visuospatial perception. Furthermore, a positive long-term rehabilitation effect in the training group was observed in all 4 of the visuospatial components. The general ability of the children improved, even though some of the visuospatial components showed no significant improvements after intervention. This positive generalized effect of the intervention was confirmed by the parents’ and children’s qualitative feedback with some of the learned skills transferring to the everyday life of the children. 100% compliance further confirms the motivation of the children to participate in the study and the effectiveness of the FORAMENRehab software for neurorehabilitation.