Effectiveness of communication-specific coping intervention for adults with traumatic brain injury: preliminary results Academic Article uri icon


  • People with traumatic brain injury (TBI) describe everyday interactions as a long-term challenge frequently associated with ongoing stress. Communication-specific Coping Intervention (CommCope-I) is a new treatment developed to target coping in the context of communication breakdown. The intervention incorporates principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, self-coaching and context-sensitive social communication therapy. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of CommCope-I in a group of adults with severe TBI and ongoing functional communication difficulties. Participants were 13 adults with severe TBI (GCS = 3-8; mean age = 35.2 years; mean time post-injury = 7.6 years). The project involved three phases: (1) Control/pre-intervention wait phase (multiple assessments), (2) Treatment (6 weeks), and (3) Follow-up (12 weeks). Repeated measures ANOVA with planned pairwise comparisons were used to test the significance of change. Intervention elicited statistically significant improvements in communication-specific coping, functional communication and stress that were maintained for three months. Improved use of communication-specific coping strategies was evident in clinician blind ratings. Clients reported significant reduction in stress at the end of treatment and one and three months later. This intervention provides a promising means of improving communication-specific coping and reducing communication dysfunction and its negative consequences for people with TBI.

publication date

  • 2019