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Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation:
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e31825b5e85
Original Articles

Treatment of Metaphor Interpretation Deficits Subsequent to Traumatic Brain Injury

Brownell, Hiram PhD; Lundgren, Kristine ScD; Cayer-Meade, Carol MS; Milione, Janet MEd; Katz, Douglas I. MD; Kearns, Kevin PhD

Section Editor(s): Caplan, Bruce PhD, ABPP; Bogner, Jennifer PhD, ABPP

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Abstract

Objective: To improve oral interpretation of metaphors by patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Design: Both single subject experimental design and group analysis.

Setting: Patients’ homes.

Participants: Eight adult patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury sustained 3 to 20 years before testing.

Intervention: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusion: 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.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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