Balloon analogue risk task to assess decision-making in acquired brain injury

Marina Areny Balagueró, Mercè Jodar Vicente


Introduction: Although impairment in decision-making is a frequent consequence of frontal lobe injury, few instruments evaluate decision-making in patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). Most are difficult to use and require a well-preserved ability of complex verbal comprehension and executive functions. We propose the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) as an alternative instrument to evaluate decision-making in ABI. Material and Methods: Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) and Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) were administered to a clinical group of 30 patients with ABI and to a control group of 30 healthy participants; comparative study to assess possible differences in the results obtained; analysis to determine a possible correlation between the two tests between groups. Results: The results showed that BART is a sensitive instrument to detect differences in performance between a control group and a group of patients with ABI, p < .001, 95 % CI =537.21-1575.46,  but do not correlate with  IGT, p = .524, rab.c = ‒.134. Conclusions: Although IGT and BART were both designed to assess decision-making, the results obtained in our study show that the scores obtained by patients with ABI on both tests do not correlate. This clearly proves that IGT and BART measure different aspects of decision-making.


acquired brain injury, Decision-making, Balloon Analogue Risk Task, Iowa Gambling Task

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