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Severe acquired brain injury: rehabilitation of communicative skills in children and adolescents

Fyrberg, Åsa; Marchioni, Magda; Emanuelson, Ingrid

International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: June 2007 - Volume 30 - Issue 2 - p 153-157
doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e32813a2ee7
Brief research reports

The purpose of this study was to examine the use of a descriptive taxonomy for assessment of communicative abilities, the Pragmatic Protocol, in a rehabilitation setting with brain-injured children and adolescents. Eight severely brain-damaged children/youths were assessed with the Pragmatic Protocol during an intensive 6-week rehabilitation period. The nature and extent of communicative functioning was rated independently by a speech language pathologist and a rehabilitation assistant. The data suggests that the number of inappropriate pragmatic behaviours is relatively high, above all regarding aspects of speech/language and nonverbal communication. Interrater agreement reached approximately 95% considering nature of the communicative dysfunction in each patient. Results indicate the use of the Pragmatic Protocol as a useful tool to trace aspects of communicative competence in need of further, detailed exploration. Information concerning intact abilities is clarified and can be used in designing treatment.

Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden

Correspondence to Ms Åsa Fyrberg, MSc, Speech Language Pathologist, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Box 21062, 418 04 Göteborg, Sweden

Tel: +46 31 50 26 70; e-mail:

Received 5 September 2006 Accepted 2 February 2007

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.