University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Factors that predict two year post-trauma communication outcomes for adults with severe traumatic brain injury

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 14:45 authored by Togher, L, Tate, R, S McDonald, Turkstra, L, Holland, A, MacWhinney, B, Gurka, J, Clayton, K, Simpson, G, Power, E, Kenny, B, Cynthia HonanCynthia Honan

Background: Understanding factors that predict communication outcomes and influence communication recovery may facilitate effective intervention that improves a person with TBI’s capacity to engage in rehabilitation, maintain social relationships and achieve vocational goals.

Objectives: This study examines communication recovery following severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) by addressing the research questions: (1) What factors predict communication recovery at two years post-injury?; and (2) What associations exist between pre-injury demographic factors, injury severity, post-injury communication impairments and two year communication outcomes?

Method: 57 participants, aged 16- 67 years, with severe TBI attended comprehensive communication assessments at three months, six months post-injury and two years post injury. Predictor measures included pre-injury (gender, age, pre-morbid education), injury (PTA, GCS) and post-injury (diagnosis of aphasia, dysarthria, conversation discourse, cognitive communication and neuropsychological) data. For two year outcomes, perceived communication skills were measured using the LaTrobe Communication Questionnaire (LCQ-Other; Douglas et al., 2000). The Sydney Psychosocial Reintegration Scale (SPRS-2; Tate, 2011) provided self and other reports of psychosocial participation. Conversational participation and support outcomes were evaluated with observational ratings (Adapted Kagan Rating Scales; Togher et al., 2010).

Findings: Multiple regression analyses indicated that pre-injury and injury measures predicted communication partners’ perceptions of psychosocial outcomes (p< .05) with pre-morbid education the only independent predictor of recovery (accounting for 17% variance). Non parametric statistical comparisons showed perceived communication skills outcomes were significantly correlated with information speed/memory and executive functioning skills at six months post injury (rho= -.507; rho= -.384 p˂.01). Self-reported psychosocial outcomes were significantly, positively correlated with pre-injury education (rho=.319, p<.05) and with six month aphasia and information processing speed/memory (rho=.387, rho=.339, p<.05) scores. Diverse factors were associated with other-reported psychosocial outcomes including: pre-injury education (rho=.378, p˂.05); duration of PTA (rho=-.432); three month executive functions (rho=.396, p<.05); three and six month information processing speed/ memory (rho=.570, rho=.546, p<.01); three and six month aphasia (rho=.435; rho=.497 p<.05, p<.01 respectively); six month dysarthria scores (rho=.334, p<.05) and cognitive communication activity skills (rho=.706, p<.01). Conversation participation outcomes were strongly correlated with three month information processing speed/memory (rho=.538, p<.05) and six month aphasia (rho=.663, p<.01), dysarthria (rho=.556, p<.01) and cognitive communication activity (rho=.707, p<.01).

Conclusion: Findings indicate premorbid education and subacute communication and neuropsychological status are key factors in determining communication recovery.



School of Psychological Sciences

Event title

11th World Congress On Brain Injury 2016

Event Venue

The Hague, Netherlands

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified