Training communication partners of people with severe traumatic brain injury improves everyday conversations: A multicenter single blind clinical trial
Leanne Togher, Skye McDonald, Robyn Tate, Emma Power, Rachael Rietdijk
Speech Pathology, Disability and Community , The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Objective: To determine effectiveness of communication training for partners of people with severe traumatic brain injury.
Design: Three arm non-randomized controlled trial comparing communication partner training (JOINT) with individual treatment (TBI SOLO) and a waitlist control group with 6 month follow-up.
Participants: Forty-four outpatients with severe chronic traumatic brain injuries were recruited.
Intervention: Ten-week conversational skills treatment program encompassing weekly group and individual sessions for both treatment groups. The JOINT condition focused on both the partner and the person with traumatic brain injury while the TBI SOLO condition focused on the individual with TBI only.
Main outcome measures: Primary outcomes were blind ratings of the person with traumatic brain injury’s level of participation during conversation on the Measure of Participation in Communication Adapted Kagan scales.
Results: Communication partner training improved conversational performance relative to training the person with traumatic brain injury alone and a waitlist control group on the primary outcome measures. Results were maintained at six months post-training.
Conclusion: Training communication partners of people with chronic severe traumatic brain injury was more efficacious than training the person with traumatic brain injury alone. The Adapted Kagan scales proved to be a robust and sensitive outcome measure for a conversational skills training program.
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