A Clinical Trial Investigating Telehealth and In-Person Social Communication Skills Training for People With Traumatic Brain Injury: Participant-Reported Communication Outcomes.

Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Journal of head trauma rehabilitation, 2020, 35, (4), pp. 241-253
Issue Date:
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OBJECTIVE:To investigate the efficacy of telehealth-based and in-person social communication skills training (TBIconneCT) for people with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) based on outcomes reported by the survivor and a close communication partner. SETTING:Australia. Two telehealth dyads were located outside Australia. PARTICIPANTS:Adults (n = 51) at least 6 months after moderate-severe TBI with social communication skills deficits, and their usual communication partners (family members, friends, or paid carers). DESIGN:Partially randomized controlled trial, with a telehealth intervention group, in-person intervention group, and a historical control group. MAIN MEASURES:La Trobe Communication Questionnaire (LCQ) (total score, and number of items with perceived positive change). Both self- and other-reports. RESULTS:Trained participants had significantly more items with perceived positive change than did historical controls. A medium effect size in the sample was observed for improvements in total score reported by trained communication partners after treatment. Comparisons between telehealth and in-person groups found medium to large effect sizes in the sample, favoring the telehealth group on some LCQ variables. CONCLUSIONS:Whether delivered via telehealth or in-person, social communication skills training led to perceived positive change in communication skills. It was unexpected that outcomes for the telehealth group were better than for the in-person group on some variables.
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