Social communication following traumatic brain injury part I: State-of-the-art review of assessment tools

McKay Moore Sohlberg, Sheila MacDonald, Lindsey Byom, Heidi Iwashita, Rik Lemoncello, Peter Meulenbroek, Bryan Ness, Therese M. O’Neil-Pirozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: The primary aim of this paper was to identify and describe current social communication assessment tools for adults with traumatic brain injury. Method: We conducted a state-of-the-art review to identify and categorise the range of social communication assessment tools found in the assessment and treatment literature that revealed 42 measures that were coded according to characteristics related to assessment types, psychometrics, and implementation. Result: Of the 42 assessments, 64% evaluated social cognition and the remaining 36% evaluated communication. Coding of implementation categories revealed that only 18/42 (43%) measures were ecologically grounded and 23/42 (55%) were available to clinicians by purchase or in the public domain. Only three measures incorporated questions or an assessment of the examinee’s priorities or concerns. Conclusion: A number of factors limit current social communication assessment. The lack of tools that objectively and reliably evaluate communication or social cognition in ecologically valid ways remains problematic. Of particular concern is the lack of prioritisation of the individual’s communication values and needs. Recommendations include a call to focus research on the development of more contextual, standardised assessments, consider availability and feasibility when tools are being developed, and evaluate assessment processes as well as discrete tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-127
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©, The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited.


  • assessment
  • pragmatics
  • social communication
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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