Treatment efficacy of social communication skills training after traumatic brain injury: a randomized treatment and deferred treatment controlled trial

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Dec;88(12):1561-73. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.07.033.


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 h 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 < or = .001), GAS (P < or = .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 < or = .001), GAS (P < or = .001), and SWLS (P < or = .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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / classification
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Communication Disorders / classification
  • Communication Disorders / etiology
  • Communication Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Psychotherapy, Group / organization & administration*
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Social Isolation / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome