Co-constructed communication therapy for individualswith acquired brain injury: A systematic review

Background: Meaningful, varied, joyful conversation is an important therapy target for adults with language or cognitive–communication disorders following acquired brain injury (ABI). However, the complexity of daily communication is often reduced to component parts within intervention programmes, with mixed evidence of generalization to everyday conversation. Interventions targeting co-construction of communication within a dyad offer a structured way in which to retain and treat elements of everyday conversation for individuals and their com-munication partner (CP). Such interventions exist but they are variably labelled, target different ABI populations and have not been synthesized. Aims:To identify the nature, scope and effects of intervention studies targeting co-constructed communication in adults with ABI. Method:This systematic review was completed using PRISMA Guidelines. Six databases (MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Scopus, LLBA, PsychInfo) were searched and 1210 studies were screened. Data were extracted and studies were rated for methodological quality and completeness of reporting. Outcome measures and effects of treatment were collated through descriptive synthesis. Main Contribution: This review highlights an emerging evidence base in relation to an intervention approach that targets everyday communication. Co-constructedcommunicationinterventionshavebeenreportedby13studies,froma total of 206 participants with post-stroke aphasia, traumatic brain injury and progressive language impairments. These interventions take a range of formats, including referential communication tasks, retell/recount therapies and communication training programmes. Methodological quality evaluation indicatedmostlylow-levelstudydesigns.Heterogeneitywasidentifiedinprimaryoutcomemeasures, with 28 unique primary outcome measures reported across studies. Most studies demonstrated change in task-specific or broad communication outcome measures. Conclusions:Co-constructed communication interventions may offer clinicians a systematic, protocolized, replicable way to target everyday communication for adults with ABI. More high-quality, experimental designs with complete reporting and psychometrically sound outcome measures are needed to strengthen the evidence base


To identify the nature, scope and effects of intervention studies targetingco-constructed communication in adults with ABI.


Zali Hall, Elise Elbourn, Leanne Togher, Marcella Carragher


Journal: International Journal of Language Communication Disorders
Pages: -
Year: 2022
DOI: 10.1111/1460-6984.12841

Further Study Information

Current Stage: Completed
Funding source(s): National Health and Medical Research Council, Grant/Award Numbers: Centre of Research Excellence grant #1153236, Senior Research Fellowship

Health Area

Disease Category: Neurology

Disease Name: Acquired brain injury

Target Population

Age Range: Unknown

Sex: Either

Nature of Intervention: Communication

Stakeholders Involved

Study Type

- Systematic review of outcomes measured in trials


- Systematic review

Searches were conducted using the following electronic databases up to September 2022: Scopus, MEDLINE, PsychInfo, CINAHL, Embase and Linguistic and Language Behaviour Abstracts(LLBA)

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