Is conversation partner training effective in assisting individuals with a traumatic brain injury to display improved communication outcomes
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Background: People who experience Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) often exhibit a range of communication difficulties following their injury. Conversation is a vital component of communication that can have wide-ranging effects on social and vocational roles. Conversation ability is often negatively affected by a brain injury. It has been suggested that training the conversation partners of people with TBI can be effective in improving communication outcomes, therefore, positively affecting quality of life. This is the first systematic review investigating the efficacy and effectiveness of conversation partner training with this population. Method: After appropriate search terms were chosen, Medline, Psychinfo, CINAHL and Speechbite databases were searched to find appropriate articles for inclusion in the review. Papers underwent a three step screening process (title, abstract and full text) to be included in the study. Data were extracted and summarised. Results: Although only four studies were included in the final review, all showed positive effects of training in relation to a range of conversation partners for people with TBI, including family, carers and shop assistants. Training programs varied in method and outcome measures, but all provided support for the inclusion of communication partner training in TBI rehabilitation. Conclusion: Conversation partner training can be an effective intervention for people with TBI. More studies with larger sample sizes would add strength to conclusions and provide more informed basis for clinical practice. Recommendations for future research and practice are provided.
Journal of Social Inclusion
© The Author(s) 2014. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Australia (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 AU) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/au/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.
Social Work not elsewhere classified