Communication after traumatic brain injury
the effectiveness of a Pragmatics rehabilitation programme
Keywords:Traumatic Brain Injury, Communication, Rehabilitation, Pragmatics
Objective: The present study intends to assess the effects of a Pragmatics rehabilitation programme on communication skills.
Method: We have recruited 12 participants who had suffered from severe or moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), with more than two years post-onset, who were randomly divided into two groups, an Experimental Group (EG) and a Control Group (CG). The EG followed a specific programme for the rehabilitation of Pragmatic Communication and the CG followed a programme of communication stimulation through group conversation. Each programme consisted of 24 one-hour, thirty-minute sessions, twice a week, for 12 weeks. In order to verify the efficacy of the programme, both groups were assessed before and after using the two equivalent forms of the same scale, Forms A and B, of The Assessment Battery of Communication (ABaCo).
Results: Improvements were observed in both groups, although much more evident in the EG. Both groups obtained better results regarding Extralinguistic Comprehension and Production (questions, assertions, commands, requests and ironies by using gesticulation). In the EG there was also an improvement in Paralinguistic Production (facial expressions and intonation).
Conclusion: The results demonstrate the effectiveness and relevance of establishing rehabilitation programmes for communicative pragmatic disorders after TBI. The study shows how a simple conversation intervention programme can be beneficial when more elaborated therapies cannot be executed.
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