Original Research

Communication after mild traumatic brain injury: A spouse's perspective

Samantha Jayne Crewe-Brown, Alexandra Maria Stipinovich, Ursula Zsilavecz
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 58, No 1 | a39 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v58i1.39 | © 2011 Samantha Jayne Crewe-Brown, Alexandra Maria Stipinovich, Ursula Zsilavecz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2011 | Published: 07 November 2011

About the author(s)

Samantha Jayne Crewe-Brown, Department of Communication Pathology University of Pretoria, South Africa
Alexandra Maria Stipinovich, Private practice Part-time: Department of Communication Pathology University of Pretoria, South Africa
Ursula Zsilavecz, Department of Communication Pathology University of pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Individuals with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) often perform within normal limits on linguistic and cognitive assessments. However, they may present with debilitating communicative difficulties in daily life. A multifaceted approach to MTBI with a focus on everyday communication in natural settings is required. Significant others who interact with the individual with MTBI in a variety of settings may be sensitive to communicative difficulties experienced by the individual with MTBI. This article examines communication after MTBI from the perspective of the spouse. A case study design was implemented. The spouses of two individuals with MTBI served as the participants for this study. Semi-structured interviews were held during which each participant was requested to describe the communication of their spouse with MTBI. The content obtained from the interviews was subjected to a discourse analysis. The results show that both participants perceived changes in the communication of their spouse following the MTBI. The results further show that MTBI impacted on the communication of the two individuals in different ways. The value of a significant other in providing information regarding communication in natural settings is highlighted. The implications of these findings for the assessment and management of the communication difficulties associated with MTBI is discussed.

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