Evaluation of electrical aversion therapy for inappropriate sexual behaviour after traumatic brain injury: a single case experimental design study

B.J. ter Mors, C.M. van Heugten, P.N. van Harten

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Inappropriate sexual behaviour after acquired brain injury is a severe complication. Evidence for effective treatment is not available. Electrical aversion therapy (EAT) is a behavioural therapeutic option used in persons with intellectual disabilities, which might be suitable for brain-injured individuals for whom other therapies are not effective. The effect of EAT in brain injury has not been investigated previously. A single case experimental design was used. In an ABBA (baseline-treatment-treatment-withdrawal) design the frequency of the target behaviour (ie, inappropriate sexual behaviour) in a 40-year-old man was measured daily. A total of 551 measurements were recorded. A significant reduction of the target behaviour was seen after the first treatment phase (baseline 12.18 (2.59) vs 3.15 (3.19) mean target behaviours daily); this reduction remained stable over time. We conclude that EAT was effective in this patient with inappropriate sexual behaviour due to severe brain injury. EAT can therefore be considered in therapy resistant inappropriate sexual behaviour in brain-injured patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5932
JournalBMJ case Reports
Early online date29 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2015

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