|Author(s)||Kate Mann, Emma Power, Scott Barnes, Leanne Togher|
|Title||Questioning in conversations before and after communication partner training for individuals with traumatic brain injury|
|Tag(s)||Questions, Brain injury, Training, EMCA|
Background: Social communication training involving individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their everyday communication partner(s) facilitates improvements in the quality of their interactions and information transfer. Recent research has indicated that the ways conversation partners use questions may play an important role in this improvement.
Aims: This study aimed to describe questioning patterns during casual conversations before and after communication partner training using Conversation Analysis.
Methods & Procedures: Samples of casual conversations involving four individuals with TBI and their everyday communication partners were examined. These samples were collected before and after intervention in the course of a larger clinical trial investigating the efficacy of a communication partner training program entitled TBI Express. Four dyads were chosen based on their Adapted Kagan Scale scores; a primary outcome measure in the clinical trial. Two dyads with the greatest change on these scales (“Kagan plus”) and two dyads with the least change (“Kagan neutral”) were selected. Approximately 10 minutes of casual conversations per dyad were transcribed in detail. Questions in each sample were identified and analysed qualitatively using conversation-analytic practices, focusing on aspects of sequence organisation.
Outcomes & Results: “Kagan plus” dyads had obvious changes in their questioning practices following training. These changes facilitated selection of topics and the development of related talk, i.e., improved communication. Conversely, the “Kagan neutral” dyads exhibited less obvious differences in their questioning practices after training, which meant that improved communication in the postintervention samples was less apparent.
Conclusions: The present study provides detailed insight into how everyday communication partners’ questioning practices contribute to communicative success. This information has the potential to help clinicians assess and improve interactions involving individuals with TBI and their everyday communication partners.