Patterns of narrative discourse in early recovery following severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Brain Injury, 2020, 34 (1), pp. 98 - 109
Issue Date:
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© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Primary Objective: To investigate the nature and patterns of narrative discourse impairment in people with severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) during early recovery. Methods and Procedures: A single image picture description task was administered to 42 participants with severe TBI at 3 and 6-months post-injury. The same task was administered to 37 control participants. Discourse samples were analyzed with measures of productivity, informativeness and story organization. The performance of people with TBI was compared with the control group at both 3 and 6 months, and the performance of the participants with TBI was also compared across the two time points. Individual patterns of performance were also examined. Results: Inferential analyses revealed significant differences between the control group and the group with TBI on informativeness at both time points and  number of complete episodes at 3 months, but no significant differences for productivity measures. There was no significant change for the group with TBI between 3 and 6 months. However, individual improvement over time was observed. Conclusions: People with TBI have discourse difficulties early post TBI that are also present at 6-months post-injury. In order to understand longer-term discourse recovery, it is necessary to examine participant patterns over further time points on this narrative task.
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