Päätoimittajalta 1_2021

  • Laura Hokkanen Department of psychology and logopedics, University of Helsinki


This is the third issue of Neuropsy Open, a new online publication at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The year 2021 marks the second year of journal existence. In this issue, all papers and the selected theses are related to intervention. The importance of evidence-based practice is well illustrated.

Despite the common theme, the articles are different in their methodology, content, and language. Two are of children, two of adults. One is an empirical paper, three present results of literature reviews. Two of the articles are written in Finnish, two in English. All this emphasizes the broad scope of the final papers published in The Finnish Specialisation Programme in Neuropsychology.

Two systematic review papers are related to rehabilitation of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The review by Mönkkönen describes controlled rehabilitation trials for improving joint attention in pre-schoolers. Twelve studies were found that looked at both expert led and parent led interventions. The results were positive and showed even medium to large effect sizes. The review by Alzamora looked at the use of virtual reality interventions among adolescents with ASD. Vocational skills, social competence and driving skill training were the most targeted areas. Here the effectiveness thus far remained unproven but as the millennials have grown with different electronic devices, more research will certainly follow.

Two papers were related to adults with acquired brain injury. A study by Daavittila et al. examined the benefits of smartphone reminders in adult neurological patients. One year of instructed use improved the perceived functioning and satisfaction with performance. A review by Kumpuniemi looked at working memory interventions in traumatic brain injury, stroke, or other neurological insults. The reviewed literature indicated that short (less than 20 sessions) interventions may improve working memory but do not necessarily result in transfer to other skills. Longer interventions show more promising results, however.

The theses picked by the editorial team included many studies examining the effects of music or dance/movement in the recovery of neurological patients. The thesis by Sarajuuri et al. report the effects of Comprehensive-holistic neurorehabilitation in traumatic brain injury.