To improve oral interpretation of metaphors by patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Both single subject experimental design and group analysis.
Eight adult patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury sustained 3 to 20 years before testing.
The Metaphor Training Program consisted typically of 10 baseline sessions, 3 to 9 1-hour sessions of structured intervention, and 10 posttraining baseline sessions. Training used extensive practice with simple graphic displays to illustrate semantic associations.
Main Outcome Measures:
Quality of orally produced metaphor interpretation and accuracy of line orientation judgments served as dependent measures obtained during baseline, training, posttraining, and at a 3- to 4-month follow-up. Untrained line orientation judgments provided a control measure.
Group data showed significant improvement in metaphor interpretation but not in line orientation. Six of 8 patients individually demonstrated significant improvement in metaphor interpretation. Gains persisted for 3 of the 6 patients at the 3- to 4-month follow-up.
The Metaphor Training Program can improve cognitive-communication performance for individuals with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. Results support the potential for treating patients’ residual cognitive-linguistic deficits.