Communication after traumatic brain injury: the effectiveness of a pragmatics rehabilitation programme

Nicole Agrela*, Maria Emília Santos, Sandra Guerreiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: The present study intends to assess the effects of a Pragmatics rehabilitation programme on communication skills. Method: We have recruited 12 participants who had suffered from severe or moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), with more than two years post-onset, who were randomly divided into two groups, an Experimental Group (EG) and a Control Group (CG). The EG followed a specific programme for the rehabilitation of Pragmatic Communication and the CG followed a programme of communication stimulation through group conversation. Each programme consisted of 24 one-hour, thirtyminute sessions, twice a week, for 12 weeks. In order to verify the efficacy of the programme, both groups were assessed before and after using the two equivalent forms of the same scale, Forms A and B, of The Assessment Battery of Communication (ABaCo). Results: Improvements were observed in both groups, although much more evident in the EG. Both groups obtained better results regarding Extralinguistic Comprehension and Production (questions, assertions, commands, requests and ironies by using gesticulation). In the EG there was also an improvement in Paralinguistic Production (facial expressions and intonation). Conclusion: The results demonstrate the effectiveness and relevance of establishing rehabilitation programmes for communicative pragmatic disorders after TBI. The study shows how a simple conversation intervention programme can be beneficial when more elaborated therapies cannot be executed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-190
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Communication
  • Pragmatics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Traumatic brain injury


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