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Journal Article


VanSolkema M, McCann C, Barker-Collo S, Foster A. Neuropsychol. Rev. 2020; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2020, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






BACKGROUND AND AIM: Communication difficulties are one of the hallmark characteristics of adults following traumatic brain injury (TBI), a difficulty that incorporates multiple aspects of cognition and language. One aspect of cognition that impacts communication is attention. This review explores both attention and communication following moderate to severe TBI and aims to connect them through a narrative analysis of the discourse surrounding the terms and how they have evolved over time. This includes exploring and reviewing theories and specific constructs of these two aspects of cognition.

METHOD: A meta-narrative systematic literature review was completed according to RAMESES methodology.

RESULTS: A total of 37 articles were included in the review. The disciplines that populated the articles included, but were not limited to, speech language pathology (SLP) 36.5%, psychology 23.8%, and a collaboration of neuropsychology and SLP 7.9%. Of the papers that were included, 10% explored and supported theories of attention related to executive function affecting communication. Specific levels of attention were mapped onto specific communication skills with the corresponding year and authors to create a timeline and narrative of these concepts.

CONCLUSIONS: The main communication behaviours that are related to attention in the context of post-TBI cognition include discourse, tangential communication, social communication, auditory comprehension, verbal reasoning, topic maintenance, interpretation of social cues and emotions, verbal expression, reading comprehension, verbal response speed, and subvocal rehearsal.

Language: en


Traumatic brain injury; Attention; Cognitive communication; Meta-narrative review


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