World leaders in treatments for people with cognitive-communication disorders (CCD) after traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Members of our team have led 70% of the world’s clinical trials for people with CCD after TBI. This map shows where our team’s research is being used in brain injury clinics and in training speech pathology students around the world.
Email us at email@example.com if you would like us to add your clinic or institution to the map.
The Social Brain Toolkit
We are developing new online tools to help improve everyday interactions between people with a brain injury and their communication partners.
This project aims to develop the following three online learning resources to help address these problems:
The Convers-ABI-Lity Portal: This online portal will guide a person with brain injury alongside their communication partner to complete a communication skills training program, with guidance from a speech pathologist. The portal will guide the completion of practice tasks, supported with videoconferencing check-ins with the speech pathologist.
Connecting on social media after TBI: This online learning module will be for people with a brain injury who are interested in using social media to interact with others. This module will be aimed at helping people engage meaningfully and safely on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.social-ABI-lity is now open for people to sign up – you can read more about social-ABI-lity here.
Communicating together after TBI: This short online course is aimed at people who are unfamiliar with brain injury to help them develop confidence and knowledge in interacting with people who have had a brain injury. interact-ABI-lity is now open for people to sign up – you can read more about interact-ABI-lity here.
What is the Communication for Safe Care Project?
This project is a collaboration between South Western Sydney and Western NSW Local Health Districts and the University of Sydney, funded through a National Disability Insurance Agency Mainstream Capacity Building Grant.
The goal is to create environments where people with a communication disability are able to have effective information exchanges in a health care setting.
We are helping teams assess their environment and work practices to understand what adjustments will make their environment and processes more accessible to people with a communication disability, assisting both patients and staff.
Effective communication will increase engagement and provide people with greater choice and control over their own health care, as well as improve staff satisfaction.
Research led by Dr Melissa Brunner has found people with TBI need training and access to a support network to use social media successfully.
Brunner, M., Hemsley, B., Togher, L., Dann, S., & Palmer, S. (2021). Social media and people with traumatic brain injury: a metasynthesis of research informing a framework for rehabilitation clinical practice, policy, and training. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 30, 19-33.
A team led by Dr Joanne Steel from the University of Newcastle has outlined the features of effective treatments to improve story telling after brain injury.
Steel, J, Elbourn, E., & Togher, L. (2021) Narrative discourse intervention after traumatic brain injury: A systematic review of the literature. Topics in Language Disorders, 41, 47-72.
A study led by Dr Rachael Rietdijk has highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of telehealth, from the perspectives of people with brain injury.
Rietdijk, R., Power, E., Attard, M., & Togher, L. (2020). Acceptability of telehealth-delivered rehabilitation: Experiences and perspectives of people with traumatic brain injury and their carers. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X20923824
Professor Leanne Togher was an invited member of the working group that developed this new document which states that responsibility for Evidence-Based Practice is shared, requiring the successful interplay and contributions of the Association and its members, universities, speech pathology students and workplaces..
Speech Pathology Association of Australia (2021). Evidence-Based Practice for Speech Pathology in Australia, Melbourne, Australia: Speech Pathology Australia.
Professor Leanne Togher was an invited member of the working group that revised these evidence-based guideleines for effective interventions to improve cognition and cognitive-communication after brain injury.
Marshall S, Welch-West P, Ferri C, Faltynek P, Janzen S, Togher L, Teasell R. (2021). Interventions for Cognition and Cognitive-Communication Post Acquired Brain Injury. In Teasell R, Cullen N, Marshall S, Janzen S, Faltynek P, Bayley M, editors. Evidence-Based Review of Moderate to Severe Acquired Brain Injury. Version 13.0: p1-175.
This review outlines what is known about the effectiveness of communication partner training for people with a traumatic brain injury.
Behn, N., Francis, J., Togher, L., Hatch, E., Moss, B., Hilari, K. (2021). Description and effectiveness of communication partner training in TBI: A systematic review. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 36 (1), 56-71.
Hoepner, J. & Togher, L. (2022). Living with cognitive communication disorders, (Chapter 22, 543-580). Aphasia and related neurogenic communication disorders, 3rd Edition. Papathanasiou, I. & Coppens, P. (Eds). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
New book chapter: Assessment and treatment of speech and language disorders following traumatic brain injury
Togher, L., Elbourn, E. & Keegan, L (2021). Assessment and treatment of speech and language disorders following traumatic brain injury. (Chapter 67, 1026-1039). In Brain Injury Medicine, Third Edition, Nathan Zasler, Douglas Katz, Ross Zafonte (Eds), New York: Demos Medical.
Why should we look at humour in our clinical assessments with people who have a traumatic brain injury?
This paper outlines how analysing humour in discourse can provide clinicians with important information about the linguistic strengths of people with cognitive communication difficulties.
Keegan, L. & Togher, L. (2021). Discourse analysis of humor after traumatic brain injury. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 30 (2), 949-961, doi: 10.1044/2020_AJSLP-20-00059.
This review identified that current narrative discourse interventions do not typically feature personally meaningful materials. Future directions are suggested for clinical practice and research in treating narratives.
Steel, J., Elbourn, E. & Togher, L. (2021). Narrative discourse intervention after traumatic brain injury: A systematic review of the literature. Topics in Language Disorders, January/March 2021 – Volume 41 – Issue 1 – p 47-72, doi: 10.1097/TLD.0000000000000241