Examining the Efficacy of Communication Partner Training for Improving Communication Interactions and Outcomes for Individuals With Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review
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Objective: To describe the evidence regarding communication partner training (CPT) interventions for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their conversation partners. Data Sources: Eleven key databases-PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane Registry of Controlled Trials, Embase, Linguistic and Language Behavior Abstracts, ProQuest, Scopus, Web of Science, PsycBITE, SpeechBITE, and ERIC-were searched from inception through 2019. Study Selection: Selected articles had to be peer reviewed, written in English, experimental or quasiexperimental design, report on TBI communication partners, and describe interventions or strategies targeting communication partners. Data Extraction: Of 1088 articles identified, 12 studies were selected for data extraction, critical appraisal, and analysis with considerations of sex and gender. The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine's guideline was used to critically appraise Levels of Evidence. Assessment of bias was conducted using the Cochrane Collaboration tools for randomized controlled trials and risk of bias in nonrandomized studies of interventions for nonrandomized controlled trials and the risk of bias in N-of-1 trials scale. Data Synthesis: A systematic review with a qualitative meta-analysis of themes and findings across the selected studies identified 3 major categories: (1) benefits of the training for those with TBI, (2) risks of CPT, and (3) suggestions to improve its efficacy. Conclusion: Most of the evidence comes from 1 research group, which may be viewed as a weakness in the current body of literature. However, although the evidence to date is modest, CPT may help to increase accessibility and reduce participation inequities in the community for individuals with TBI.