Communication skills training pilot programme after traumatic brain injury: short and medium-term benefits

Nicole Agrela*, Maria Emília Santos, Sandra Guerreiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: The study aimed to evaluate whether a pilot communication rehabilitation programme improves different communicative modalities in people who have sustained a moderate to severe TBI immediately following the training and at 3 months follow up. Methods: We have recruited 12 participants who had moderate-to-severe TBI. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups, EG and CG. We have assessed the groups before and after treatment and we have performed a follow-up three months later, through of the ABaCo. The EG followed a very structured programme. In the CG, a programme to stimulate communication through free conversation was carried out. Each programme consisted of 24 group sessions, of 1h30 min, twice a week, for 12 weeks. Results: Improvements were observed in both groups, although more evident in the EG. Both groups had better results in extralinguistic production. In the EG, there was still an improvement in the paralinguistic production and extralinguistic comprehension, after ending the training. These improvements persisted 3 months after ending the programme. Conclusion: The results demonstrated the effectiveness of the intervention of a structured pragmatic rehabilitation programme. However, the existence of a communication group based solely on conversation can also have positive results and should be implemented whenever a more specific intervention is not possible. In future research, it will be important to increase the sample size and involve caregivers in person and regularly in the EG programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-314
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021


  • Communication
  • Pragmatics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Traumatic brain injury


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