Aphasia after traumatic brain injury: Recovery and prediction of verbal communication outcome after inpatient rehabilitation
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In aphasia the ability to communicate is severely affected, causing a great impact in the lives of patients, family and caregivers. Thus far, little is known about the recovery of aphasia and prognosis of verbal communication outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI). We analyzed data from different language assessment tests at admission and discharge from inpatient rehabilitation of patients who suffer from aphasia after TBI in the period between 2010 and 2017. We also compared the scores at admission between TBI patients with patients suffering from aphasia after stroke. Further, we used a prognostic model that was originally developed for predicting verbal communication outcome in patients suffering from stroke, to investigate if this model can also be used to predict verbal communication outcome in patients suffering from aphasia after TBI. Results show a significant overall improvement of TBI patients with aphasia between admission and discharge on all language tests. These patients experience significant word finding problems but are able to compensate and express themselves in daily life. Both TBI patients and stroke patients experience difficulties in the linguistic components but the TBI patients experience less problems communicating in everyday situations. The prognostic model did not accurately predict verbal communication outcome in patients suffering from aphasia after TBI. Future research investigating recovery and prognosis of aphasia after TBI can help inform patients, family and caregivers about the future, set accurate rehabilitation goals and help patients get appropriated treatment.