Rationale and description of BrainLevel: Computerized repeated practice with strategy use instruction for children with acquired brain injury

Christine Resch, Petra Hurks, Arend de Kloet, Caroline van Heugten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: In this paper, we provide the rationale behind and a description of BrainLevel, a new cognitive rehabilitation intervention for children with acquired brain injury.

RATIONALE: Children with acquired brain injury frequently report cognitive problems and consequently problems in participation, psychosocial functioning, family functioning and quality of life. Computerized repeated practice of specific cognitive tasks (so-called 'brain training') improves performance on those specific or highly similar tasks, but rarely leads to better daily life functioning. Adding strategy use instruction as an intervention component, with the aim to transfer task-specific effects to other contexts, may yield positive effects on cognitive and daily life functioning of children with acquired brain injury.

DESCRIPTION OF THE NEW INTERVENTION: In BrainLevel, computerized repeated practice is offered via the online training programme BrainGymmer. For the strategy use instruction, we developed a protocol to provide and practice function-specific and metacognitive strategies. The intervention period is 6 weeks, during which children train five times per week for 30 minutes per day at home with BrainGymmer. Additionally, they attend a weekly 45-minute strategy use instruction session on the basis of our protocol with a cognitive rehabilitation specialist.

DISCUSSION: BrainLevel is innovative in combining computerized repeated practice with strategy use instruction as cognitive rehabilitation for children with acquired brain injury. Currently, we are investigating the effectiveness of BrainLevel. In this paper, possible adaptations to tailor BrainLevel to other games or contexts, or to incorporate novel scientific insights, for example regarding optimal intervention duration and intensity, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0269215521989652
Pages (from-to)787-800
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Early online date1 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • metacognition
  • training
  • traumatic brain injury
  • adolescence

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