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Social Communication Skills Training in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Treatment Efficacy Study

Abstract:
This study is evaluating the efficacy of a treatment program addressing social communication skills following TBI. Social communication skills are frequently impaired after a TBI, and these impairments are believed to contribute to social isolation due to difficulty in establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships with friends, family and co-workers. Research suggests that social communication skills for individuals with TBI can be relearned through practice and repetition in functional situations. Most of the reported research in this area has been conducted using small sample sizes, with very limited use of randomized controlled studies. The actual treatment intervention for social skills used in these studies is most often described in generalities. This study is unique in that the treatment intervention has been developed over a number of years by professionals with extensive experience working with individuals with TBI and refined through actual group treatment. The specific intervention of a twelve week group treatment of social communication skills using a problem solving approach is being carefully evaluated, using a randomized deferred treatment control group, with enough subjects to demonstrate a significant treatment effect. Specific pragmatic communication goals for each participant are identified and measured, as well as more general outcome measures. If the treatment intervention proves efficacious in improving social communication skills for persons with TBI, then this standardized group treatment program will be disseminated widely as an evidence-based treatment modality. Project Status: Data collection will be completed by 4/2005.

Registry Project Number: 376
Lead Investigator: Dahlberg, C
Lead Center for Project: Craig Hospital
Collaborating Investigators: Newman, J, Hawley, L, Morey, C, Harrison-Felix, C, Whiteneck, G
Keywords: efficacy, traumatic brain injury
Date of Completion: 05/21/2003
Type: Local
Status of Project: Latest Information Shown

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