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Perceived Difficulties with Multiparty Conversation Following Moderate-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

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Poster B48 in Poster Session B, Tuesday, October 24, 3:30 - 5:15 pm CEST, Espace Vieux-Port
This poster is part of the Sandbox Series.

Sophia Kekes-Szabo1, Melissa Duff1; 1Vanderbilt University Medical Center

OBJECTIVE: Cognitive-communication impairments are a common consequence of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Group settings present a particularly challenging communication context given the increased cognitive demands of managing conversation with multiple speakers. Individuals with TBI have significant communication disruptions in social contexts but research has largely focused on monologic discourse and dyadic conversations. We developed the Multiparty Communication Questionnaire (MCQ) as a first attempt to capture perceived challenges of multiparty conversation for people with and without TBI. METHOD: Part A of the MCQ includes questions directly modified from the La Trobe Communication Questionnaire (Douglas et al., 2000) to examine specific communication behaviors (e.g., turn taking, interrupting), while other items capture the unique aspects of communicating in group settings (e.g., losing track of what others are saying in a group conversation). Part A includes a Likert-type scale with four response options: (1) never or rarely; (2) sometimes; (3) often; and (4) usually or always. Part B of the MCQ is only for participants with TBI and addresses post-TBI changes in opportunities to participate in group conversations. The 30-item survey was distributed to 4 SLPs for content, grammatical, structural checks and rewording to reduce ambiguity and was administered to participants in-person interview style. ANALYTIC PLAN: Our target sample is 40 adults with moderate-severe TBI and 40 non-injured comparison (NC) participants matched for sex, age, and education level. To date, we have MCQ data from 29 TBI participants and 23 NC participants. We anticipate completing data collection by July 2023, and full analysis of our data completed prior to this conference. We will report descriptive statistics (means, frequencies, distributions across each question) for both participant groups and TBI change over time data. PRELIMINARY RESULTS: Preliminary data from Part A suggest patterns of differences and similarities in multiparty communication between our groups. For example, participants with TBI were more likely than NCs to report having trouble remembering what each person in a group has said, and losing track of what they were saying. The two participant groups were similar in ratings of having trouble making eye contact with others in a group and directing their attention more towards one person in a group than another. Part B preliminary data showed that out of our 29 participants with TBI, 15 individuals reported a change in opportunities to be part of group conversations since their injury. 3 participants reported having more opportunities, and 12 reported having fewer opportunities for group conversations since their injury. CONTRIBUTION: This work expands the study of language use beyond monologic discourse and dyadic conversations to multiparty conversation in group settings, a ubiquitous context for language use. Documenting patterns of spared and impaired language and communication in multiparty conversation offers a new direction in characterizing the nature and scope of cognitive-communication disorders following TBI and may improve communicative outcomes for individuals with TBI. We aim to continue validating the MCQ and hope to expand its use to other clinical populations.

Topic Areas: Disorders: Acquired, Language Production

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