Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2022 Nov 22:1-29. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2022.2147552. Online ahead of print.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can result in long-lasting changes in cognition, communication, behavior, and physical abilities that require specialized rehabilitation by health professionals. Communication difficulties following TBI are driven by difficulties in all aspects of cognition and linguistic skills. This study focuses specifically on attention-related communication difficulties and how international health professionals are treating this frequently occurring difficulty following TBI. One hundred and sixty-four international health professionals (e.g., speech language therapists, occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists, and medical doctors) from seven countries completed an online survey. A small portion from New Zealand then participated in a focus group reviewing the topic of attention-related communication difficulties following TBI. This mixed-methods study used reflexive thematic analysis to analyse the qualitative data from both survey and focus groups alongside quantitative survey results. Fourmain themes were identified that relate to how attention-related communication difficulties should be treated and a roadmap for this important area following TBI was outlined. The four themes include: (1) signposts for attention and communication recovery; (2) change agents of attention and communication; (3) core therapy components; and (4) collaborative teams allow for better and more efficient treatment related to the client’s goals. Clinical implications are discussed.
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