Volume 8, Issue 3 (May & June 2017 -- 2017)                   BCN 2017, 8(3): 203-212 | Back to browse issues page

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Karamali Esmaili S, Shafaroodi N, Hassani Mehraban A, Parand A, Zarei M, Akbari-Zardkhaneh S. Research Paper: Effect of Play-based Therapy on Metacognitive and Behavioral Aspects of Executive Function: A Randomized, Controlled, Clinical Trial on the Students With Learning Disabilities. BCN. 2017; 8 (3) :203-212
URL: http://bcn.iums.ac.ir/article-1-700-en.html
1- Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
3- Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

Introduction: Although the effect of educational methods on executive function (EF) is well known, training this function by a playful method is debatable. The current study aimed at investigating if a play-based intervention is effective on metacognitive and behavioral skills of EF in students with specific learning disabilities.
Methods: In the current randomized, clinical trial, 49 subjects within the age range of 7 to 11 years with specific learning disabilities were randomly assigned into the intervention (25 subjects; mean age 8.5±1.33 years) and control (24 subjects; mean age 8.7±1.03 years) groups. Subjects in the intervention group received EF group training based on playing activities; subjects in the control group received no intervention. The behavior rating inventory of executive function (BRIEF) was administered to evaluate the behavioral and cognitive aspects of EF. The duration of the intervention was 6 hours per week for 9 weeks. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to compare mean changes (before and after) in the BRIEF scores between the groups.
Results: The assumptions of multivariate analysis of covariance were examined. After controlling pre-test conditions, the intervention and control groups scored significantly differently on both the metacognition (P=0.002; effect size=0.20) and behavior regulation indices (P=0.01; effect size=0.12) of BRIEF. 
Conclusion: Play-based therapy is effective on the metacognitive and behavioral  aspects of EF in students with specific learning disabilities. Professionals can use play-based therapy rather than educational approaches in clinical practice to enhance EF skills.

Type of Study: Original | Subject: Behavioral Neuroscience
Received: 2016/11/18 | Accepted: 2017/03/1 | Published: 2017/05/1

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