Patterns of early conversational recovery for people with traumatic brain injury and their communication partners

<p><b>Primary objective</b>: To investigate whether the degree of participation by people with severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and the degree of support by their communication partners (CPs) changes in conversation during subacute recovery.</p> <p><b>Methods and procedures</b>: Seventeen pairs of participants with TBI and their CPs were video-recorded during a 10 min casual conversation at 3 and 6 months post-injury. Communication behaviors were rated using the adapted Measure of Participation in Conversation (MPC) and the adapted Measure of Support in Conversation (MSC) at both time points and compared.</p> <p><b>Results</b>: Inferential analyses showed that there was no significant change in the degree of participation in conversation by participants with TBI and the degree of conversation support by their CPs from 3 to 6 months post. Comparison of qualitative field notes revealed that specific conversational behaviors changed over time, including better turn-taking and topic maintenance.</p> <p><b>Conclusion</b>: Documenting early communication recovery is a complex and challenging endeavor. The lack of change in conversational effectiveness during the sub-acute period using global rating scales highlights the need for social communication tools that are sensitive to communication recovery following severe TBI.</p>