Social disinhibition: piloting a new clinical measure in Individuals with traumatic brain injury
Honan, CA and Allen, SK and Fisher, A and Osborne-Crowley, K and McDonald, S, Social disinhibition: piloting a new clinical measure in Individuals with traumatic brain injury, Brain Impairment, 18, (1) pp. 74-87. ISSN 1443-9646 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2016 Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment
Social disinhibition difficulties are common following traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, clinically sensitive tools to objectively assess the difficulties are lacking. This study aimed to pilot a new clinical measure of social disinhibition, the social disinhibition task (SDT). Whether social disinhibition is dependent on the type of social information judgements required and whether disinhibited responses can be adjusted with additional guidance were also examined. Participants were 31 adults (25 Male) with moderate-to-severe TBI and 22 adult (17 Male) healthy control participants. Participants viewed scenes of complex social situations and were asked to describe a character in them (Part A), describe a character while inhibiting inappropriate or negative responses (Part B), and describe a character while not only inhibiting negative responses, but also providing positive responses (Part C). One-half of the items contained a faux pas requiring participants to make inferences about a character’s mental state. TBI and control participants responded similarly to Part A, although control participants responded less positively than TBI participants in the faux pas items. TBI participants were significantly impaired on Part B indicating they experienced difficulties in inhibiting automatic responding. TBI participants were however able to adjust their responding in Part C so that they respond similarly to the control participants. Between group differences were not detected in reaction time. Overall, the SDT appears to be suitable to detect social inhibition difficulties in clinical settings and provides a new direction for remediation of the difficulties in individuals with TBI.
social cognition, traumatic brain injury, social disinhibition, theory of mind