Effectiveness of a group anger management programme after severe traumatic brain injury

Alexandra J. Walker, Melissa T. Nott, Margaret Doyle, Margaret Onus, Kathleen McCarthy, Ian J. Baguley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Primary objective: This study examined the effectiveness of a group approach to the treatment of anger management difficulties for people with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Research design: Repeated-measures design with convenience sampling. Method and procedure: Participants were community living clients of a tertiary brain injury service. The group programme consisted of 12 weekly sessions based on a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) model, with modifications to incorporate compensations for TBI-related cognitive impairment. Treatment effectiveness was measured using the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI), at pre-treatment, post-treatment and follow-up. Main outcomes and results: The programme was completed by 52 people across nine groups over the years 19982006 and 31 of these attended a follow-up session. Completion of the programme was associated with significant decreases in self-reported frequency with which anger was experienced (STAXI Trait Anger) and frequency of expression of anger (Anger Expression-Out), as well as a significant increase in reported attempts to control feelings of anger (Anger Control); changes were maintained at follow-up assessment. Conclusions: A group CBT approach shows promise as an effective community-based treatment for anger control issues after severe TBI. Future research directions should include a wait-list control group and objective rating of anger expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-524
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired brain injury
  • Anger management
  • Challenging behaviour
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy
  • Group intervention


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