Authors: Dahlberg CA, Cusick CP, Hawley LA, Newman JK, Morey CE, Harrison-Felix C, Whiteneck GG
Title: Treatment Efficacy of Social Communication Skills Training After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Randomized Treatment and Deferred Treatment Controlled Trial
Source: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2007 88(12): 1561-1573
Year: 2007
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 07/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - Y
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of a replicable group treatment program to improve social communication skills after traumatic brain injury (TBI). DESIGN: Randomized treatment and deferred treatment controlled trial, with follow-up at 3, 6, and 9 months post-treatment. SETTING: Community. PARTICIPANTS: Volunteer sample of 52 people with TBI who were at least 1 year postinjury, who received rehabilitation, and who had identified social communication deficits. INTERVENTION: Twelve weekly group sessions (1.5 hours each) to improve social communication.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The Profile of Functional Impairment in Communication (PFIC), Social Communication Skills Questionnaire-Adapted (SCSQ-A), Goal Attainment Scale (GAS), Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique - Short Form social integration and occupation subscales, Community Integration Questionnaire social integration and productivity subscales, and Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). RESULTS: Independent samples t test analysis showed significant treatment effect compared with no treatment on 7 of 10 of the PFIC subscales (P range, .024 to <.001) and the SCSQ-A (P=.005) after the first 12 weeks of the study. After 12 weeks of treatment for all participants, repeated-measures analysis showed significant improvements from baseline on 9 of 10 PFIC subscales (P range, .01-.001), SCSQ-A (P< /=.001), GAS (P< /=.001), and SWLS (P=.011). At 6-month follow-up, scores were significantly better than baseline on 6 of 10 PFIC scales (P range, .01-.001), the SCSQ-A (P< /=.001), GAS (P< /=.001), and SWLS (P< /=.001). CONCLUSIONS: TBI subjects who received social communication skills training had improved communication skills that were maintained on follow-up. Overall life satisfaction for participants was improved.

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